“Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”
Positivism, humanism, materialsim. These three “isms” are the defining philosophical systems of our age and probably of your life, whether you know it or not. What they add up to is this: if you can’t taste it, touch it, see it, hear it or do something with it, it isn’t real. The orientation of modern life is to what is. Beyond this arid view of reality everything else is nothing but speculation or fantasy. With so many millions actually believing this, it is no wonder that a current popular statement of this faith – or lack of it – is contained in one word; ‘whatever’. If the tangible is all there is, then all we are is, well, dirt. Nothing really matters. Whatever.
Yet the entire witness of Holy Scripture is to a creation infused with Spirit. The people of Israel, for example, took spirituality very seriously. They intricated it into their way of life. It was in the fiber of their being. In waking and sleeping and walking, in conceiving and bearing children, in planting and harvesting, work and rest, in war and peace, in all aspects of life the numinous, the spiritual was most real.
The Scriptures witness to a God who married dirt with spirit. One or the other will not do. The creation is a coming together of the material and Spirit. There is no more obvious display of this than the Incarnation of God in Jesus the Christ. “The Word became flesh and lived among us,…”.
The material does not derive meaning from itself. The Spirit gives meaning to the material. There is no ‘there’ where you are not in the presence of the Spirit. There is no hiding place. This is what the psalmist was observing in the text for today. This view of reality gives real meaning to the creation, where our lives, and all their works and all their ways, are displayed on the stage of history.
“May the peace of God that passes all understanding keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.”