Monday, November 30, 2015

Reflection for the Week - November 30

This reflection may be treading into dangerous territory or be disturbing for some. Who knows? I hear this often in Christian circles. “Pray for a safe flight” or “pray for safe travel.” I wonder if “safe flights” or “travels” depend on prayer for Divine action. Or, say, driving to work every day without problems – because I or someone else prayed for that and if I don’t arrive safely - because I or someone else didn’t. My aim here is to honor, not dismiss Divine action, but I’m not convinced it manifests itself in these specific types of ways. Indeed, a massive question that won’t go away. Neither do I want to eliminate the biblical text as a valid informer, but hope to understand it in the context of other legitimate informers, notably the natural world, and how it appears to function and impact theology. When the huge percentage of flights arrive at their destination and the vast majority of people get to work on a daily basis, I can’t help but query what specific Divine action and prayer have to do with this. Maybe God is not the kind of “actor” we presume. If that is so, our presumptions concerning specific Divine action might be turning God into an idol.