The Living God

Elizabeth Johnson CSJ (Curtsy – UCAN> Spirituality)
Christian faith does not believe in a new God but, finding itself in new situations, seeks the presence of God there….
The growth of atheism, the experience of unspeakable suffering, struggles for justice for poor people, women and racial and ethnic minorities, the global encounter of religions, and new ecological awareness of our physical universe – each of these contexts calls for new understanding…. Different theologies have been glimpsing God again, not in the sense of deducting all there is to know or uncovering the divine in all clarity – but in the sense of illuminating and unlocking the unsuspected presence of the gracious divine mystery amid the ambiguity, suffering justice-making, and vast discoveries of our times….
Rather than discussing simply one aspect of the divine, each particular approach intends and amplifies the meaning of the whole, like different gateways opening into the one garden. Together these gateways offer us glimpses of the living God at once ineffable, vulnerable, liberating, relational, justice-loving, beautiful, generous, cherishing, dynamic, and adventurous; at once creative, redemptive, and embracing; in a word, love….
The active presence of the living God in the world … is one of the oldest and most enduring of biblical promises. By listening with people to where the Spirit is moving in their lives today, by attending to what this signifies, by interpreting it creatively in terms of the treasure of biblical faith, and by calling for the praxis of universal solidarity in suffering and hope, these theologies shed light on ways in which that ancient promise does not disappoint. Buoyed by hope, we can begin to imagine the world anew and commit our energies in responsible, healing, and liberating action….
No longer simply concentrated in Europe, which for centuries has been the mother continent of Christianity, theology now emerges from multiple geographic and existential centers of life and thought. The universality of the church is served precisely by these centers’ fidelity to the quest for the living God in their own particular circumstances. Reading the signs of the ties and calling the whole church to discipleship, they each discover something of the breadth and length and height and depth of the love of God, which surpasses all knowledge, including that of theological systems.
The quest continues. It will do so as long as the unfathomable mystery of the living God calls human beings into the future, promised but unknown, which is to say, as long as people exist.
                                                                                                             From The Quest for the Living God (2007)

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