Wednesday, March 25, 2015

On "Givenness" ...

"I've tended to use 'givenness' in reflecting upon the given order that God has placed in creation, but creation also has a 'gift-quality' about it.  It's very existence doesn't need to be.
When I was in Sunday School as a kid, the first theological definition I can remember receiving was 'grace is unmerited favor'.  And we usually think of grace as coming after our sin, and yet the existence of all creation is an unmerited favor.  We didn't have to wait to sin to receive God's unmerited favor.
When we receive a great gift, we're delighted in the gift, but we're also delighted in the generosity of the Giver.  And so it is with the reception of a powerful work of art.
When I hear a thoughtful and attentive performance of a carefully crafted piece of music or when I watch a masterfully constructed film, I often have a sense of gratitude, not just to the performers or composer or director - but a gratitude to God as well; gratitude to live in a world where such joys are possible.
The gratitude that is felt by recipients of a gift typically resonates with the delight that is known by the Giver of the gift.  And that is a pattern built into creation."

- Ken Myers

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