Friday, May 16, 2014

Where is God?

My wife just shared with me an article discussing a recent study of the physical effects of prayer.  The study found that prayer and meditation have positive physical effects on the brain including improved memory in Alzheimer's patients.  While I would not want to use the article as a reason for people to pray more often, I do believe it is interesting.

The portion of the article that really caught my attention, however, was this comment by Dr. Andrew Newberg: "It only makes sense if God is up there and we are down here that we would have a brain that is capable of communicating to God, praying to God, doing the things that God needs us to do," said Dr. Newberg.

This is the comment that threw me for a loop.  For me, it makes no sense whatsoever to think of God as only being "up there" far away from those of us "down here."  It makes much more sense to say that God is here with us, celebrating as we celebrate, grieving as we grieve, and acting within creation as we live in creation.  If God is simply "up there," then how would God be able to change anything for Dorsey (who is a key figure in the article)?  How would God be able to change anything for us or for anyone else?

At the altar, we proclaim that Christ is present within the bread and wine of communion.  At baptism, we proclaim that the baptized person is sealed with the Holy Spirit and marked with the cross of Christ forever.  These are just two ways in which the Lord is "down here" with us.

Where else do you see God "down here" with us?

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