Day to Day Theology
Theology is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "the study of religious faith, practice, and experience especially: the study of God and God's relation to the world"
From the Greek "Theo" or God and "logia" meaning a subject of study or interest.
Literally, the translation for theology means the study of God. As we explore theology, we will discover that it is a very broad study and, as the definition above highlights, theology tends to be particularly concerned with God's relation to the natural world and humanity.
On an individual basis, when we talk about theology and how it applies to and affects our lives, we are talking about the ways in which we choose to live differently because of the acknowledgement we have made that there is a God and that God has a relationship to us individually as well as communally.
Have you ever forgiven anyone? Furthermore, have you ever forgiven anyone because you know that you have been forgiven by God for the ways in which you may have missed the mark from time to time? If you have, then you have applied theology to your life and it has made a positive impact in your relationships and on your heart. Because you acknowledged that you have a relationship with God and that it is one based on Grace, you have decided to live your life differently.
Throughout the gospels, Jesus shared his life-giving theology with the world and because of his actions as well as of those that chose to follow Him, the world that He lived in changed drastically. Jesus’ theology was based upon the Scriptures, which for Him was the Old Testament, and the self-realization that He was the Messiah.
The way in which Jesus interpreted Scripture, the law, and His personal relationship with God had a lasting effect on the world. As He knelt down to wash His disciples’ feet He set a precedent for our understanding of strength through humility. When Christ said that the last will be first, He revealed the heart of God which yearns to liberate the oppressed. When Jesus stopped the angry mob from stoning a woman He was making a powerful commentary on the broken ways in which communities sought to do justice.
Friends, I believe that we can change the world if we embrace one simple fact and apply it to the way we live our lives: the fact that you and I are children of God and so is everybody else. There is much in this world that will seek to identify people based on many things other than that fact, and there is a lot of division because of the world’s need to classify and separate. We too often fall into the trap of classifying others according to the way they look, what they drive, who they vote for, and many other things. Yet if we live our lives and encounter others knowing that they are first, children of God, and secondly these other things, then we can live into the Kingdom of God.
May we remember every minute of every day that we have a relationship with God and that we are all part of the same divine family.
Rev. Tom Owens
Executive Pastor of Ministries