This week’s episode of Darkwood Brew explored, among other things, the human genome and the story of human evolution encoded in our DNA. Change is also written in the DNA of the Christian identity, is it not? At the core of our shared Christian faith is a story of transformation…a story of struggle and tension, a story of dying to an old way of life and being born again into a new way of life.
In order to thrive physically and spiritually, we must be willing and able to adapt to changing circumstances. Jesus himself was a catalyst for such change. Jesus, who wasn’t afraid to break from scripture and the religious teachings of his day, challenged people to see things in an entirely new way. He brought people into fuller, greater life. Fear and uncertainty tempt us to remain comfortably unchallenged and unchanged, but how can we progress if we don’t embrace struggle? Those who follow Jesus are called to be more than complacent.
Evolution of thought and spirit requires tension and struggle. Faith is meant to be examined and explored…not merely accepted…and what emerges as a result is often a fuller, more robust way of living the faith. Where do you see this spiritual struggle in your life today? Is it in new and emerging ideas about God, ideas that are informed by scientific revelations such as those we’ve been exploring at Darkwood Brew? How does the theory of evolution shape your understanding of God? There was a lively discussion in the chatroom this week at both 5 o’clock and 9 o’clock about God’s role in evolution. Questions emerged such as, Does the complexity of DNA (the blueprint for life) point to an intelligent designer? Did God set the process in motion with the intention that life would simply “play out” as it has, or is God active in the process of mutation and natural selection? What does it mean for God to be “in, with, and under” (as Darkwood Brew guest Lea Schweitz stated) all the processes that govern life? I won’t pretend I’ve worked out the details, but I’m comfortable engaging the questions – even the ones that challenge my understanding of God – because I trust the process. I know that on the other side of questioning and doubt, I will emerge a better, stronger, and more engaged practitioner of my faith.
The message of the cross, like the history that is revealed within the human genome, tells a story of transformation…of change and growth, death and new life. For our faith to survive and flourish, we must be willing, as Jesus was, to embrace struggle, confront conventional thinking, and move in the new directions toward which we are called. Directions that at times feel challenging, demanding, scary, and even undesired. When we do, we will find ourselves transformed, fully alive, and emerging closer and closer to what God calls us to be.