The power of cat videos

Did you know, watching funny cat videos can soothe your anxious brain?  Go ahead, google one, I’ll wait.

It turns out, human brains are well trained to enjoy cute, young, mammals.  We love to hold babies, and coo and gush when given the opportunity.  Put a puppy or a kitten in the room, and anxiety turns to joyful excitement or a more playful, relaxed state.  I wonder how church meetings might look different if we had a box of kittens, or puppies, waiting before we begin.  But I digress…

We like safe things, cute things, cuddly things.  We like the easily containable.  We appreciate questions that have answers and tasks that have clear objective results.  It’s not good or bad, it’s just human.  And God, is not: safe, cute, containable, or even human.  There’s a reason God says, “I am,” and leaves it at that.  How do you define the undefinable?

But we try anyway.  We try metaphor, and countless names between the Hebrew Scriptures and the New Testament.  Among my favorites, God the dragon-slaying gardener (my paraphrase from Isaiah 27).  We try, through image and language to make God a little closer, more touchable, safe.

This Sunday, as we continue with the Letter to the Hebrews, we’ll wrestle with what it means to worship the paradoxical, untouchable, un-tameable God, close as the air that we breathe, who chose to become a human baby. How can we worship such a God, but with awe, reverence, and gratitude?  I’ll see you on Sunday.  Bring your own puppy.

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