I don't believe in a God up in the sky
who sits in heaven and never hears me cry. I don't believe in a God who's far away —
I believe in Jesus living here with us today.
I don't believe in a watchmaker above,
set this world going but now is not involved, who from a distance is watching as we fall — I believe in Jesus' God who suffers with us all.
I don't believe in a God who keeps a shop,
who checks each item and puts a price on top, who wants a dividend on each investment made — God is always giving and refuses to be paid.
I don't believe in a tyrant on a throne
who wants to punish us for every wrong we've done, who keeps a tally of each mistake and crime —
God wants to have mercy on us
each and every time.
I don't believe in a patriarchal chief,
a judge who never had mercy on a thief,
the Lord and Master who must be waited on — God is mother-sister just as much as father-son.
God is beside us, God has no other home,
no other family, we are God's flesh and bone; He-She is with us and with all humankind — loving his creation always occupies her mind.
This song was sparked by a book called "Redemptive Intimacy" by Dick Westley. It's a journey into faith, or from one kind of faith to another. For me, it was a book full of resonance - "Yes, that's right. That's how I feel!" etc. I was pleased recently to see the book quoted by another American Catholic writer, Brennan Manning, in "The Relentless Love of Jesus". It's in the first chapter, 'Healing our image of God and ourselves'. I'm writing this the week after our city was visited by a major American evangelist. I wish that people could have heard Brennan's message instead. There certainly seems to be plenty of scope for healing. My understanding of God continues to change and develop, but I'm surprised again and again to find myself back at the place where I first started. "Version 1.0" I had thought was a bit jokey, but maybe it was more serious at the same time. [“...we do not believe in God, that mythical being who sits on a throne in a far-off perfect land. Nor do we believe in the Monster-God, who lies in wait to punish us for mistakes and crimes.” Westley, p.85 'Redemptive Intimacy’]
2021 - Where do we go from here?
Breezin' along in my Japanese coupe, breezin' along with the windows down. The dog keeps sniffing the air - he's got an empty head but he's alright. We've got time to spare, time to get where, we don't know, and who cares?
And the days go fast and the nights go faster
Lord, where do we go from here?
Lord, where do you want me to be? (© Robin Mann 1972)
Some questions keep on coming, and this is one of them.
The pandemic has put a hold on so much, and while Australia is in a better position than many, uncertainty remains.
Two weeks ago I finished a song 'In the year that's coming'. It ends with:
May your love shine through us,
every day renew us,
keep on coming to us,
stay with us
in the coming year.