God, Angels, Bunnies, and Me

photo-1468190919318-dda40b332156_optBunnies (and the other animals!) exist and the good news is that they do not exist for me. They are there, being bunnies indifferent to what I am doing. They do not eat with me in mind. One reason I am a conservationist is that I do not think it is my right as a human to force my needs into rabbit space without some thought. God made a world that came to have bunnies and though God made humankind His regents, when He asks us to account for our time here, it would seem best not to have wiped out large numbers of residents of the planet just because we could.

Now this does not mean that we have fewer rights than the bunnies. We are sentient and they are not. I would not sacrifice a single human child for all the rabbits that were, are, or will be, but that is a choice that rarely must be made. Bunnies have value in themselves, humans have value in themselves as well, just more value.

The interesting news for humankind is that we know we are not the only sentient beings in the cosmos. Angels exist. They have their place and no human as a human has the right teven rebuke them in our own names. Some angels act as part of God’s human project, but others spend their time doing others thing such as continuous worship. Christians are warned by wise spiritual advisors not to seek out angelic interaction: stay out of their space. They have their own business and blundering into it almost never works out well.

This naturally leads some questions about the “ground of all being:” God. To say an obvious thing I sometimes need to hear: God does not have less right to His own being than a bunny or an angel. Since God is perfectly good, knows all truths that are needful, and is supremely beautiful, God is the best of beings by definition. As a result, our relationship to God is going to be unique. God does not need us and has love that is not directed to us! After all, God is perfectly lovable. Just as we should have a healthy self-love, so God loves Himself with no danger (like we have) of falling into excessive self-love.*

A conference asked this question: “What do we get out of church?” My initial thought, contrarian that I am, is: “Thank God. I often get nothing out of church. My hope is that God enjoyed Church. Church is about God.” God does not exist to serve me and if God did nothing to serve me then that would be fine.

God is due worship, somewhat like a beautiful painting is due acknowledgment only more so. Unlike any painting, there is no way to avoid God, He is omnipresent. Divine liturgy is about God: a service where I give God His due. Of course, because of God’s very loving nature, giving God His due turns out to be good for me. When one loves Love Himself, then one is awash in love: not always or even often, because I am a dullard at seeing, but sometimes.

God has absolute value yet shares that value with all of creation, angels, bunnies, and me.

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* Much of the Bible and religious writing assumes the norm: we have too much self-regard and self-love. We do not care about polar bears and angels let alone our neighbor! However, there exists some folk who have the opposite problem. They develop a form of self-loathing (a different kind of pride) that rejoices in hatred. Instead of proportional love of self.


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