February 2013

"I hope for the day when everyone can speak again of God without embarrassment.”

These are not my words but the words of Paul Tillich, a theologian I studied at University and often chose to write about in essays and exams, for his theology ‘spoke’ to me in ways that other theologies did not.

I love the sentiment of these words of his and the hope within them, for it would indeed be a wonderful day if everyone felt confident enough to speak of God and not be afraid or ashamed or embarrassed to do so.

So often we are people of great faith but for some reason or another we find speaking of that faith extremely difficult. 

However, as I always say, ‘speaking of God’ can actually have other forms too.I know, what Tillich means here is actually voicing words and speaking out about God and how we feel about him and how he impacts our lives and sharing that with others - and I know for some that would lead to embarrassment and it does take confidence. 

Yet we must not despair if we feel unable to do that at the moment, for we can ‘speak of God’ in other ways too - by our actions, by our care of others or by our nurturing of others. 

Sometimes too, it is through such actions and ways of showing God to others by our lives that we then become more comfortable in speaking of God verbally.Tillich always speaks of having the ‘Courage to be’ and so we must just be as we are, as God made us and let him grow us and develop us, until the day comes when we can speak of him verbally to others without embarrassment.As you will know, Lent is very early this year and as it approaches we are always encouraged to reflect on our lives a little more.

Perhaps before it arrives this would be a good time to think on how we feel about speaking of God, if we get embarrassed or not and just accept ourselves as we are – then we can just have that ‘Courage to be’ and let God do the growing and developing of us till we have confidence.