Why there is something instead of nothing?

The following excerpt from “Water to Wine” by Brian Zahnd gives a view on why there is something instead of nothing. I love the description of creation that each and everything is an expression of God’s love, God’s love in physical form for us to see and feel and take delight in. We cannot see God but we can see the expression of his love through his creation around us.

“The great monotheistic faiths have always answered the question of why there is something instead of nothing in the same way, the only way it can be answered: GOD. “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). But why? Why did God bother? Why did God create? Why did God say, “Let there be”? The mystics have always given the same answer — because God is love, love seeking expression. From what the Cappadocian Fathers called the perichoresis — the eternal dance that is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, there burst forth an explosion of love. Some call it the Big Bang. Some call it Genesis. If you like we can call it the genesis of love as light and all that is. What is light? God’s love in the form of photons. What is water? A liquid expression of God’s love. What is a mountain? God’s love in granite, so much older than human sorrow. What is a tree? God’s love growing up from the ground. What is a bull moose? God’s love sporting spectacular antlers. What is a whale? Fifty tons of God’s love swimming in the ocean. As we learn to look at creation as goodness flowing from God’s own love, we begin to see the sacredness of all things, or as Dostoevsky and Dylan said, in every grain of sand. All of creation is a gift — a gift flowing from the self-giving love of God.

Why are there light and oceans and trees and moose and whales and every grain of sand? Because God is love — love that seeks expression in self-giving creativity. Unless we understand this we will misunderstand everything, and in our misunderstanding we will harm creation, including our fellow image-bearing sisters and brothers. Existence only makes sense when it is seen through the lens of love. At the beginning of time there is love. At the bottom of the universe there is love. Admittedly freedom allows for other things too — from cancer cells to atomic bombs — but at the bottom of the universe it’s love all the way down. Cancer cells and atomic bombs will not have the final word. At the end of all things there is love. When the last star burns out, God’s love will be there for whatever comes after. In the end it all adds up to love. So when calculating the meaning of life, if it doesn’t add up to love, go back and recalculate, because you’ve made a serious mistake. Love alone gives meaning to our fleeting fourscore sojourn.” – https://brianzahnd.com/2020/03/why-did-god-create-the-world

The Prodigal Son – A fresh view

I was awake at 4am a few mornings back, I had been tossing and turning and could not get back to sleep. I picked up my Kindle to continue reading Brian Zahnd’s latest book, “Sinners in the Hands of a Loving God” of which I am still in the early stages of.. Brian in one of the early chapters refers to the parable of the Prodigal Son in order to illustrate a point about the nature of a loving God. As I read the chpater I came to see the story of the Prodiogal Son in a completely new light.

I saw that the son was never actually lost, he had always been the son of his father, he was still the son of his father while he was away from home and he continued to be so when he came back home. His relationship (or sonship) with his father never changed while he was up to his neck in Pigs**t, just his view or perception of it. His father never stopped loving him, it was the son’s view of his fathers love that changed while he was away. He didn’t need to come crawling back to his father pleading forgiveness, his father welcomed him back with open and loving arms and he put the ring and cloak on his son to re-affirm his sonship.

So what I understood is that when the Prodigal Son went his own way, or when we go our own way in this life and do out own thing, no matter what pigs**t we end up in, it is not God’s love for us which changes nor his view of us, nor out relationship with him, it is our view of God that changes, we think how can he love us and we seperate ourselves from God in our own minds. It is not God’s mind about us which needs to be changed but our mind about God!

 

Don’t Talk about Religion or Politics!

There is an old saying that you may have heard in one form or another which basically says “don’t talk about Religion or Politics”.  You may see this as a notice at pubs and bars or have been discouraged from discussing these topics at at parties and get togethers.  Politics and religion, as we can easily demonstrate from history, are very divisive subjects and have been the start of many a national conflict and war, not to mention countless broken families and friendships.

Why?  When people discuss either Religion or Politics the views and attitudes of those involved becomes polarised, I accept that this is a generalisation but I do not believe that this is a gross over-generalisation.  We have seen this here in the UK both pre and post the Brexit vote. Families have been divided and friendships have been broken due to the polarisation that occurs when we start to talk openly about our views.  This has been demonstrated right at the top of our political tree with the break in relations between the former Prime Minister David Cameron and his long term friend Michael Gove.  It has been widely reported that they have not spoken since the Brexit vote due to them campaigning on different sides of the Brexit argument.

Similarly the US Presidential election has been very polarising, Republican, Democrat, Conservative, Liberal, Christian Right, Christian Left; they all have their standpoints  and judging by what I currently see on Social Media there is very little common ground between the differing sides and very little chance of bridges being built. There is intransigence and unwillingness to see the others point of view and engage in constructive discussion.

The aim of an argument or discussion should not be victory, but progress (Joseph Joubert  1754-1824) That is the problem with us though, when we engage in discussion invariably we want to win, we want our viewpoint to be recognised as the superior one, or the right one, or the one with the most credibility. We want “Victory”, even when it is family or friends. Is it any wonder that there is so much division in society today, so much misunderstanding of the other. Discussion leads to argument leads to fighting leads to war. Why can’t we have discusion leads to understanding leads to respect leads to co-operation.

Going back to where we started, Religion and Politics, whatever your flavour or persuasion these are things that can change the world, these are things that matter, things that we need to talk about. We should not be afraid to talk about them but if we do then we should do so with the aim of progress not victory.


Header picture from https://pixabay.com/en/users/mattysimpson-466065/