Here at Q, we have chosen what psychologist Scott Peck calls "The Road Less Travelled" and we continue on our quest of being an icebreaking community who will ask questions and explore thoughts so that others might follow us through and find freedom.
Today's message is no exception, as we ask "What's the matter with matter?"
"In almost all circumstances, the quest for certainty overshadows the quest for truth, because we prefer security over honesty, matter over spirit and belief over faith."
In this clip from Calendar Girls, Chris, played by Helen Mirren, addresses the Women's Institute conference, seeking permission to make a unique calendar to raise money for a cause dear to her heart. As she speaks, her frustration pours out as it's clear that the spirit of female camaraderie of the W.I. has descended into nothing more than making cakes and plum jam and singing Jerusalem!
As we dare to deconstruct the structures that have tried to contain and define spirit, we must know like Chris, that "There are some things more important than council approval!"
"If you can contain the fullness of who the divine being of God is within the constraints of a book this thick, then he ain't that much of a god."
In this trailer for his book, The Sin of Certainty, Pete Enns talks about how the spirit of Christ has got lost in the dogmas and details of the belief system of a religion.
"We have a problem: We want to trust our beliefs, we don't want to trust God... because God is dangerous. Our beliefs we can define. God, we can't and so we keep the creator captive to what we can comprehend."
The gospel of John begins with the phrase "In the beginning was the word..."
What follows is fascinating and powerful story of the ancient word "Tabernacle" and how it's still significant for us today as we try to avoid the human tendency to create concrete, religious systems out of things that should remain flexible and free.
In the first century Jewish temple there was a curtain that separated people from the place where they believed God lived. The moment that Jesus died, this material was torn in two, screaming at humanity "Get the matter out of the way and get back to spirit!"
In this song by Carrie Underwood, she points at some of the problems that arise when we set our beliefs in stone and instead of living by the spirit of love, we defend our concrete, materialistic perspectives.
"Politics and Prejudice, how the hell did it ever come to this?"
Back to the story of Calendar Girls, we find that after the success of the nude calendar, the ladies have been invited to Hollywood but find that they start to become defined and distracted by the material that their story has created.
The 13th century mystic Meister Eckhart prayed "God, rid me of God!" He'd realised the danger of the infinite mystery of spirit becoming defined and confined by a belief system, doctrine or religious understanding.
As we continue our quest together, let's resist the temptation to settle for the materialistic, certainty of religious beliefs, when the infinite mystery of spirit invites us into a life of faith.
"You call me out upon the waters, the great unknown where feet may fail. And there I find you in the mystery, in oceans deep, my faith will stand. My soul will rest in your embrace, for I am yours and you are mine. Spirit, lead me where my trust is without borders, let me walk upon the waters wherever you will call me, for I am yours and you are mine."
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