I'm not very good at this 'take a break' stuff am I? Essay still only 2/3 done and on hold for a day or two. Midway through writing a 'talk' for this Sunday's outreach service I had a thought I wanted to record.
The hymns chosen consist of several creation-points-to-creator and a fair few cross-centric offerings. The readings I'm using are Isaiah 49:16 (engraved on God's hands) as call to worship, parts of Pslam 19 (the heavens declare the glory of God etc) and John 10 (good shepherd). The main thread of the 'talk' is along the lines that creation is amazing and can point us to God but can also make us feel very insignificant with God far away, but this is only part of the story. The good shepherd gives a picture of God (or Jesus) who is close at hand, knows us intimately and is active in the very messiness of life - an immanent balance to the transcendent.
And this made my poor old grey cells go 'ping' and wonder whether the I AM sayings of Jesus are about immanence, a kind of earthing and earthyness of God? If this is right, then undoubtedly some clever scholar has done it before. And if it's heresy, well it's my heresy and I'll own it! The shepherd is a very earthy, practical image; bread is very basic and tangible, as is water. Granted images such as 'truth' are less tangible, but I quite like this kind of both-and of God (or Jesus as I AM) being utterly commonplace and earthy and mysterious and divine. A God who is beyond my comprehension and yet at the same time as ordinary as the staples of life strikes me as worth contemplating. I'm probably not expressing this too well, but it certainly made me go 'wow.'