Thursday, July 21, 2011

Big Towers and Big Names.

God said multiply and fill the earth. Humanity multiplied, and tried to stand together. Standing together is fun because when you're big you can do a lot, you're safer and stronger and more unified. You can maintain common language and avoid trouble. You can make a name for yourself. You can build a big tower and a big reputation.

God said scatter. He came down and scattered them. He is always coming out of himself to us and sending us out of ourselves beyond ourselves to the ends of the earth. To enter into his spreading goodness and so go.

Diversity. Going brings diversity. God instigated diversity of language but this could/should have happened anyway as humanity scattered, and will seemingly be preserved/redeemed in the new creation. New societies develop new dialects and angles and approaches. Part of the glory of the new world is it's diversity. Diversity of culture, language, personality, passions, tempraments, skills, knowledge, giftings and strengths - and perhaps even some degree of theological diversity too!

Obscurity. Going spreads you out. You might eventually build megachurches by going but there's a big world to go to so the norm is likely to be smaller scale and obscurity. Big conferences don't tend to give the stage to small church pastors. Going and spreading brings obscurity. Like the son of God who came out from the Father, and turned up in the obscure villages of Palestine. There are known churches and there's not necessarily anything wrong with having a name (it's ok that people can refer to Mars Hill and John Piper and All Souls and CCK etc.), but a people on the move tend not to have a name. What would there be to name? And any name they have just becomes a label for relationships, which are ever evolving, being built together and torn apart. That kind of name can be big - because it's about widespread influence among ever spreading people - that kind of name is always raising up others and as it produces fruitfulness becomes in effect increasingly obscure, widely known but not always known.

Momentum. Like our God we're meant for going. And you can go by staying as long as you keep on going where you're staying. People have called the Triune society a dance, full of movement, toward one another and out from self, always self-giving and other-centred, not staring in the mirror but moving towards others.

I was reading Genesis 11 today.