Sunday, April 12, 2015

Why "Following AFTER the Comma" ???

Why “Following after the Comma”?  Since I come from a line of English teachers, I should explain the whole meaning behind my chosen title for this series of thoughts, editorials and general wandering of the mind as it happens.

So, first, “Why the Comma?”

My Dad is a UCC (United Church of Christ) minister.  Even though I don’t attend church anymore, I still consider it my denomination as it follows a path of spirituality that is most closely in line with my own.

The best way to answer “Why the Comma” comes directly from the UCC God is Still Speaking campaign:

THE COMMA constantly reminds us of God’s boundless love.
THE COMMA reminds us that God is still speaking and that God speaks in multiple ways.
THE COMMA  carries the hope of God’s peace with justice; of religion relevant to our unique experiences; of the new light and truth still to break forth from God’s word.
THE COMMA reminds us that on our continuing faith journeys, God is still speaking.
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Now that you know where the Comma comes from let us contemplate the word Follow as it refers to my title.

Follow: To adhere to; practice: follow the Lord God.

In other words, "Following after the Comma" instead of "Following the Comma" or "After the Comma" refers to my spiritual path. I focus on what we have learned about God's Creation since the initial interpretations were gathered together in the Holy Scriptures. Each individual sect of God's Followers has their own version ie, the Holy Bible, the Torah, the Qur'an and so forth.  The one thing that they all have in common no matter which version or translation?  They all were spoken about and later written down during a time when everyone thought the world was flat and we were the center of God's creation. 

Since then we have learned a lot, including:
  • The world is round not flat.
  • The Sun does not orbit around the Earth, 
  • We are not the center of our own Solar System or our own Galaxy, therefore we are not the center of God's universe.
  • There have been many versions of human beings since our planet's creation, we're just the most recent.
  • When you stare at the night sky, you are basically looking into forever.

We know so much more now about God's creation than they ever could have understood was possible.  All of these things and even more, like medical advances, DNA, and genetic characteristics, were there waiting for us to discover as we grew more able to learn and explore.

We must adjust our beliefs according to the information that we have discovered or we will never be able to appreciate just how glorious God's Gifts are.  My spiritual path includes following my understanding of God's Creation after the mental comma placed at the end of our recognized texts. God IS still speaking, we need to be brave enough to keep listening.

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