Group Participation

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“For encountering God means encountering transcendent security and transcendent eternity. He who participates in God participates in eternity.” - Paul Tillich

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”
– Jesus (in John 8:32)

Eternity, truth, freedom. I generally struggle to define these words in any kind of coherent way. This lack of answerability presents problems in environments like the Thursday Morning Bible Study group when a person asks me the very legitimate question, “What is truth?” “That’s a great question,” I say with a smile.

I love to discuss topics like eternity, truth, and freedom. People come up with amazing insights and terrific questions. Sometimes these discussions lead to beautiful realizations about who God is and how Jesus relates to humanity. Other times these discussions lead to gigantic, semi-insurmountable unknowns about life.

I like Paul Tillich’s language: “He who participates in God participates in eternity.”

Asking questions. Discussing meaning and purpose. Reading and studying the Bible and other sacred texts. Talking about novels in a book group. Having tea with a friend. Worshiping in community. Silently meditating by candlelight. These are all ways of “participating in God” as we journey each day toward eternity.

What an awesome reality it is that God is such an advocate of group participation!

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