Participating in the Universe

After the service Sunday, we had a small group conversation – what some congregations call a talkback but which Saratoga calls “church chat.” It was a lively discussion about the series of sermons I just wrapped up on God – over three weeks, I talked about the transcendent, the immanent, and the creating-creator aspects of the Divine as we see them in our principles and our hymns.

During the conversation, one member asked me “did you put process theology at the end on purpose?” The question was probably meant to tease out my own beliefs, which I addressed – yes, process theology clicks for me, and it feels like a broader idea of God that encompasses the transcendent and the immanent.

But I think there’s more to it than that. And I have been thinking about it a lot. There are many reasons I put this  relational, creative, dynamic God at the end of the series – and what I keep coming down to is that this image of God – this ever-expanding, ever-changing Divine energy/spirit/infinite all – doesn’t coerce us but rather entices us toward beauty and goodness. This creating-creator God embraces us in the family of humanity and shows us infinite possibility in every choice we make. This way of being in the world, with each other, as artists of time and space, as painters of beauty and truth, as sculptors of dignity and justice, is what we are each called to be at each moment.

This calling vibrates through the hallowed halls of our theological house. Our Unitarian, Universalist, and Unitarian-Universalist roots call us to choose, at each moment, a path toward goodness and healing, to create a community of well-being, to reach out.

This creator, creating, relational, dynamic God IS the God of Unitarian Universalism. This is the faith that calls us to action. This theology is how we make our way in the world. And we must make the choice, at every moment, to act. How will we act?

And more to the point, how will I act? What choices do I make? How am I an artist of creation, painting and weaving and sculpting my corner of the universe to make it more compassionate, beautiful, healing, just?

I put the God of process theology at the end of the series because we cannot just sit and sing and think about God. We have to do. We HAVE to take an active role. Life is not a spectator sport; we must all act in this participatory universe.

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