Often when we talk about what makes us human, we talk about how we are different from other animals. We mention upright posture, language, culture, self-transcendence, and so on. Our concern seems to be articulating and establishing our distance from animals. Theologically speaking, what makes us human, what makes us distinct, is our responsibility for creation as bearers of God’s image and not whatever way we might be different than other animals.
It is interesting that when God uses images and metaphors to describe God’s own self, God and the biblical writers don’t have any problem comparing God to various animals.
I used to be someone who went to worship to “fill up” spiritually for the week ahead. I wanted to have something to carry with me; wisdom from the sermon, a particular hymn, a prayer, something to guide me. My focus, sadly, was on myself—what I got out of worship. I worshiped to receive.
I always knew that people of faith were supposed to have devotional time. When I joined the church, I sort of expected someone to tell me the “official” Christian devotional method. But no one did. It wasn’t covered in the new members’ class. And that was for me somewhat unsettling. I knew I should be doing something, but I couldn’t figure out what that something was. I felt adrift, unsure of what I should be doing and a little worried I might be doing it wrong.
On my way home from the grocery story last night, I listened to a woman reading her poetry. (Yes, it was public radio.) The poetry was lovely, but I could only listen for a little bit because the woman was reading in Poetry Voice.