Contain and Containment

July 12, 2019

“Acts 17:28 reads “for in Him we live and move and have our being.” Romans 11:36 reads, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever.” Christ reminded the Pharisees in Matthew 12:6 that He is greater than the temple. The first martyr Stephen (Acts 6-8) died because he dared to challenge the religious leaders on this point that God is not contained solely in the temple. God cannot be contained anywhere. God can only be expressed and experienced. The fullest expression and experience of God is in the fullness of Church. That is why He gave it so us. Without our participation in the fullness of the sacramental life of the Church to the extent our location and circumstances permit, we cannot really experience Him to any great degree in other places and circumstances unless He wills it Himself. If we are fully participating in the sacramental life of the Church as best we can and with the right heart, then we will perceive Him to ‘everywhere present and filling all things.’ ” (Sacramental Living Blog)

 

“God exists outside of creation, for nothing can contain Him; rather, He contains all things in Himself, and is present everywhere…and fills all things…God is the source of all activity throughout creation. He cannot be seen or described in His own nature and in all His greatness by any of his creatures. Yet He is certainly not unknown. Through his Word the whole creation learns that there is one God the Father, who holds all things together and gives them their being.” (Orthodox Study Bible, Deuteronomy 4:39, St. Irenaeus of Lyons)

 

“…the Spirit moves where He wills and cannot be contained by human ideas or agendas.” (Orthodox Study Bible, John 3:8)

 

“We have come from God…and inevitably the myths woven by us, though they contain error, will also reflect a splintered fragment of the true light, the eternal truth that is with God. … Our myths may be misguided, but they steer however shakily towards the true harbour." (J. R. R. Tolkien)

 

“If we ask a fly if there are flowers in this area, it will answer: ‘About flowers I do not know. But there are a lot of old food cans, manure, dirt—look, a whole ditch-full!’ And the fly will proceed to mention in order all the slop-containers that it has visited. But if we ask the bee: ‘Did you see any dirty areas here?’ it will answer: ‘Dirt? I haven’t seen any anywhere. But look, there are so many fragrant flowers!’ The bee will begin to list off the many different flowers found in the garden and the field. So you see: the fly knows only about the slop-containers, and the bee knows that a lily is growing nearby, and further down the path there is a newly blooming hyacinth. Thus I understood that some people are like the bee, and others like the fly. Those who are similar to the fly discover something nasty in every situation and concentrate only on this. Nowhere do they see a drop of good. Those who are similar to the bee find good in everything.” (Elder Paisios)

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