As the month begins with Easter, we consider the exercise of them mind in the context of how we use our intellect to create a world
more like God’s plan. I remind you of the line from the Lord’s Prayer“…thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…” Easter challenges us to
ask how we use our minds to put to death the world that is not of God and to resurrect the world in the image of God. In the model of Jesus,
how do we do that by offering ourselves rather than condemning others?
To love God with all your mind calls us to strengthen our intellect with the understanding that to study the complexities of life helps fulfill the Christian call to transform the world. There is no separation of learning and faith. Mistakenly, Galileo was put in prison for discovering that the universe was ordered in ways more complicated than the Bible described. His discoveries (accepted by nearly everyone today) did not deny Biblical truth — they filled in the details of God’s creation that were not apparent or of primary concern to the people who wrote the Bible.
The Bible and knowledge about the world are not in conflict. The Bible deals with how God deals wit h humans. The sciences of relationships (sociology, psychology, etc.,) still learn from the Bible. The harder sciences deal with the detailed cause and effects of how the world came to be and how it
continues to create. The Bible has little interest in the details of creation of the past or the present except to say, God directs it. The Bible is more concerned about how we create a human system that reflect Jesus’ values. Our minds honor God when we use them to wrestle with all knowledge, not just
the knowledge that confirms our prejudices.
To love God with all our minds, means to always be curious, to always ask why and to seek the answers in an orderly and well thought out manner. To use our minds sometimes means to realize that life is more complicated than common sense solutions. Often the words “common sense” mean
“doing it my way.” Not surprisingly, many things called common sense are found to be wrong when tested, meaning they were habitual rather than tested by the brilliant, complicated mind that God gave us.
God has created an incredibly complex world, with complex relationships and causes hidden from the casual observer. We honor God when we try to understand the complex rather than accepting cliché. Without persons who looked beyond the ordinary, we would still be living in caves. Even our study of the Bible should be open to stretch the mind and not assume that the words can only be understood one way for all time. To understand scripture, we need to understand historical context, as well as what they say to the heart today. Both may be valued hearings, but incomplete without comparison.
To love the Lord your God with all your mind, means to be willing to think, to challenge the old and the new, to wonder. Do this often and with enthusiasm. Seek to answer, how can we do better at making the world into the image of God rather than our own image? Exercise the mind, God gave it to us to use. Work to be fully attuned to God’s possibilities, especially the onesnot yet attained. For the Kingdom of God is at hand, but not yet fully claimed.
Click here to read of the April Newsletter!