Monday, May 28, 2012

God's Knowledge

Near the end of the film Kate and Leopold, Kate (played by Meg Ryan) says to her coworkers at an advertising agency, "It's a great thing get what you want.  Unless what you thought you wanted wasn't really what you wanted because what you really wanted you couldn't imagine, or you didn't think it was possible.  But what if someone came along who knew exactly what you wanted without asking?  They just knew.  Like they could hear your heart beating or listen to your thoughts.  And what if they were sure of themselves and they didn't have to take a poll and they loved you?"

She's saying this about Leopold (played by Hugh Jackman).  She decides to leave this world and travel across time to be with him.  (You'll have to see the movie to see how it all works together.  It's really well done.)

My point is that this is a fine example of the ever-increasing presence of ancient spiritual themes in contemporary films.

Some argue that religions are attempts to control other human beings by presumably knowing what God wants of us.  Comply with the system or risk divine wrath.  While I think that there is more to religion than this, I'd like to turn the equation around.  What if Christian faith is about God knowing what we really want and providing it?  The New Testament reveals God as love.  It is of love's nature to give.  My wife knows that I love her best when I am actively serving her best interests and want her to be happy beyond measure.  I don't claim to be doing this as well as I could, but I do propose that this is how God interacts with every one of us.

It was said of Jesus "He knew what was in man." (John 2:25)  A little later a woman told her neighbors, "Come see a man who told me everything I ever did." (John 4:29)  I am imagining Jesus able to see into every person's heart and knowing their deepest desires and strongest yearnings -- the things we can hardly name to ourselves much less make known to others, even after years of marriage.  He is the one we are looking for in a best friend or soul mate.  He is the one who, on the day after our death, will look into our eyes and we will feel wonderful dream come true reality of the scripture's promise, "Then I will know fully, even as I am fully known."  (I Corinthians 13:12)

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