Thursday, August 23, 2012

What is natural ?

The seems to be in some corners of religion a tendency to denigrate the natural order, to see the world as a dark and ugly place. Some Christians even selectively reading the Old Testament paint it in this negative light, as if God is somehow different: scary in the Old Testament and loving in the New Testament.

What does God promise through the prophet Ezekiel:

I will cleanse you. I will give you a new heart and place a new spirit within you, taking from your bodies your stony hearts and giving you natural hearts.

The natural heart is the one fashioned by God. The natural heart is not an evil thing steeped in sin. It is animated by and oriented toward God, its creator.

The stoney heart is the one not created by God. It is in the truest sense artificial, made by us,carefully sculpted over time as we turn away from God and turn toward ourselves, becoming enamored with our own power and craftsmanship. We may take the rarest stone and fashion the most beautiful heart, one that will last for centuries, but it will never function properly. Nothing we make can be better that th natural heart.

Go to a grocery store and you are surrounded by signs of the muti-million dollar industry of "organic" "all natural" foods. And I am no saying this is a bad thing. I believe we do need to pay attention to what we eat. My only question is are we as concerned to have what Ezekiel might call the all natural heart?

When was the last time you took a really close look, when was the last real examination of conscience? The good news is that we don't have to be afraid to look. We don't have to be afraid to acknowledge the truth. We don't have to fear failure. As Ezekiel tells us it is God who will cleanse us, God who will put the natural heart in us.