I am excited about our Eastertide study of Fr. Stephen Freeman’s book Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe. Fr. Freeman is one of the blogs that I regularly read and I have always found his spiritual perspective to be extraordinary. Please read Chapters 1 and 2 for this week.
Fr. Freeman begins his book with a discussion of how our modern society and our modern Christianity see and understand the world. For us today, our religion is simply one discrete part of our existence. Church is on Sunday and we are supposed to behave ourselves during the week, but God is not immediately present within our world. Rather, God’s presence is found in “heaven.” If we are lucky, good, or both, then at some time after our death, we may be in the presence of God. We perceive time as linear, and God is found at the end of the timeline. We perceive heaven as a place up there, and God is found upstairs in the second storey. God’s presence is what we find only once we have passed through this life. Revelation and eschatology are only about the future upstairs.
As we begin this study (and as we approach Good Friday), think through how God’s immediate presence in our lives is marginalized both in society and in our religion. Think through the perceived absence of God both in our world and in our lives.
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?Psalm 22:1-2
Why art thou so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?
O my God, I cry by day, but thou dost not answer;
and by night, but find no rest.