Bread – Concrete

July 9, 2010


Readings for Friday, July 9th
    designated by the Book of Common Prayer:
    Deut. 31:7-13, 24-32:4; Rom. 10:1-13; Matt. 24:15-31
    Psalms 16, 17, 22
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There are abstract thinkers and concrete thinkers.  Abstract thinkers work in the realm of ideas, concepts, and theories.  Concrete thinkers work in the realm of the five senses – if I can’t touch it, feel it, smell it, hear it, and taste it, it doesn’t exist.  Because concrete thinkers deal with realities and because abstract thinkers mostly live in reality, abstract thinkers can be concrete thinkers.  However, because concrete thinkers are grounded in the realm of reality, the reverse is not necessarily true.

As a result, in order to address Himself to everyone, God presents Himself in concrete terms.  In other words, He talks about Himself in public, He appears in public, and He works in public.  Although we certainly try to turn God into an idea or a concept, He not only appears in reality, He created reality and is reality.  Although many of our churches do not display signs or images or representations of God for fear of turning the signs, images, and representations into poor substitutes (or idols) for God, this is not a statement that God is only an idea but a statement instead that we do not need concrete substitutes for God when God Himself is a concrete presence in the world and in our lives.

In all of today’s readings, we have God appearing on earth, in reality, in concrete terms, in real time history, to accomplish His work.  In today’s readings, we have a God who acts in our history appearing to do His real, not imagined, work.  First, in Deuteronomy, we have Moses handing down God’s law, written in Scripture, for the purpose of serving as a witness against us, as a witness that we all fall short in obedience to God.  Deut. 31:26b.  Second, in Romans we see Jesus Christ appearing on earth as the end of the law, to establish faith in Him as our path to salvation.  Rom. 10:4, 8-10.  Third, in Matthew Jesus Himself discusses the end times, when He will physically, concretely appear in glory to gather His flock and judge all.  Matt. 24:15-31.

I know that I myself many times fall into the habit of thinking of God as an idea, as a concept.  This is a slippery slope of reasoning, because an idea is no more than a theory until it can be touched, smelled, heard, or tasted.

However, the fact is that we worship a real God who has operated in history, is operating today in our lives and in the Church, and will operate in the future.  He is concrete.  He is here.  And He is with those who call upon His name yesterday, today, and tomorrow.  Amen.

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