Cogito ergo sum– I think therefore I am – these words of René Descartes are familiar to us in the west but do we have any idea of the extent to which they colour our subconcious thinking and affect our whole culture?
Other cultures have a different defining proverb: We are therefore I am or You are, therefore I am.
When we present ourselves before God in prayer, what then defines our existence? The fact that we are God’s creation, are part of the Body of Christ, or that we think? There is something very individualistic about cogito ergo sum which runs counter to the teaching of Jesus.
And the culture of our consumer society, jokingly but rather aptly, expressed as Tesco ergo sum – I shop therefore I am – is arguably even more at odds with our Christian faith.
So what should the motto of the praying person of faith be? I’m no Latin scholar but I guess that Credo ergo sum would translate I believe therefore I am. But it still does not embrace the communal or holistic element. And to reflect the way that Jesus talked about all being one as he and the Father are one then it does need to express something of this.
Please use the comments box to offer any suggestions.
The discussion was entitled, ‘The Holy Spirit’ but someone commented afterwards that we seemed to spend more time talking about prayer.
What a wonderful, insightful observation. For whether we experience God as transcendent creator, more intimately as Abba, Father or as Jesus our friend, is it not in fact the work of The Holy Spirit within us that makes any of these experiences possible?
And this awareness of God is the very essence of prayer.
So what do we do
When it feels like God’s not there?
And we knock
But the door does not open.
We hear no welcome voice.
Consider the options
Bang louder and harder
Sadly turn away
Shrug and assume God’s busy right now
Drop a note through the door…
Sit down and wait
Make a phonecall, an email
Get angry and shout
What do you do
When you can’t find God?
Do you think He’s really not there?
I know He is
I’ve yelled in an empty church
Don’t play hide and seek with me.
It doesn’t feel reverent
And some might be shocked
But I cannot live
Without my God.
He wasn’t hiding in the rafters
But in a deep dark crevice
Of my own heart.
Jesus is the light of the whole world.
Things appear different according to what light we view them in.
The church in candlelight looks different than in daylight or electric light.
Sometimes we view things through rose coloured spectacles.
Sometimes life looks blue.
Let the light of Christ shine through us and brighten our way
Let us see the world in the light of truth, of lover, of joy.