Christ Pantocrator,  mosaic in the Chora Church, Istanbul
Christ Pantocrator, mosaic in the Chora Church, Istanbul
Source: vladimirdar / livejournal

Most people in the western world today know nothing of the existence of God. In Britain around half the population, when questioned state that they believe in God. But out of the sixty million people here, maybe at best, one and a half million turn up at church. The rest somehow think that merely intellectually acknowledging a God of some sort is sufficient. And beyond that the other half couldn’t care less. In fact, lets face it: at best maybe 390,000 to maybe 700,000 actually, seriously believe in God.

So what is it that “excites” me about God? Why is it all-important to me?

People, often talk about being where its “at” – where the excitement is – whether that’s a night club, the football, a party, being seen with important people, jetting off to an exotic holiday – that’s what gets them going.

But let’s talk about God for a second or two. What is He? Why is He important? Why should a person care?

Well not just religious people, but now an interesting swathe of scientists – the ones at the very cutting edge of science are beginning to think in terms of God.

This universe – this enormous, stupendous universe that we live in – they think couldn’t exist unless it had some sort of intelligent design. Some leading biologists are saying the same thing. It is all too well thought out to have been mere happenstance. It just couldn’t have happened by chance – the universe or the earth being habitable or us existing on the earth.

So who? God is an entity who exists outside this universe. For whatever reason, He decided to create the universe and in doing so, it was necessary for Him to install a few arbitrary values – an example is the speed of light. There are about ten others.

Apparently He decided to create an intelligent being within that universe and we appear to be it.

As far as we know, we (and most world religions are in agreement) are not limited to this earthly life. There is more to us than our body and apparent personality. There is a part of us that continues after bodily death. That part consists of everything that makes each individual – in other words the whole of “us” continues.

So I return to my earlier question: what is it that “excites” me about God? Why is it all-important to me?

What we westerners have as a belief system is the today much despised Christianity. That Christianity stretches back two thousand years and beyond that through the thousands of years of the Hebrew belief in the same God.

Over two thousand years ago the pinnacle of mankind’s contact with the Creator of the universe was the great Temple at Jerusalem The two successive temples had lasted for around a thousand years. This was the one place in all the world where men could confidently gather to present themselves to God and to corporately converse with Him.

The world however, in general had got into a rather horrible mess and God chose to visit in human form and set the humans back on the right track, the way He wanted them to go. So He did that and left a record of the Way of Life that He wanted His people to live.

As far as we can see, He has a purpose for us beyond this earthly life. This present life seems to be a learning process – a lifelong university course if you like.

Well, the great Temple at Jerusalem was destroyed by the Roman Empire and the Christians started all over again spreading out over most of the middle east as far as India and even China and Britain and Africa.

Then after an interregnum of around five hundred years, the Christians built their great Temple in Constantinople – Holy Wisdom – and it became the pinnacle, the place where mankind could gather and present themselves before God and corporately converse with God.

That too has ceased to be a temple and a further interregnum of some five hundred years has occurred.

So once again I return to my earlier question: what is it that “excites” me about God? Why is it all-important to me?

Lets start with humans who are in contact with the God-Creator of the universe. What do we know about Him? Well, very little and quite a lot. I’m not going into the complicated theology here, put simply, God is an entity of obviously stupendous intelligence, who exists beyond the furthest extent of this universe. Some quantum mechanics scientists tell us that there is a dimension outside the universe that is necessary for the universe to exist.

Today in the absence of a generally agreed central temple for all of mankind to gather in, there are those throughout the world who make it their business to communicate with God on behalf on mankind, while exhorting all humans to do the same. Thus there is a Holy Mountain in Greece called Mount Athos where men live exclusively for contact with God and speak on behalf of all humans. There are other such places around the world.

So this is what excites me about all this – the ability for people to actually communicate with the great Creator of the universe. All over the world there are those few who dedicate their lives to speaking with God and relating something of Him and His wisdom to those around them.

Of those dedicated people some of them live alone or nearly alone and some few of them acquire great wisdom. They are acclaimed by their contemporaries as Elders, and there has been a thin stream of them down the centuries. They are in such close contact with God, are so aligned with Him, that they are given a glimpse of things to come, and the wisdom of God.

All humans will survive the death of their earthly bodies. All will approach the outer dimension which was given the ancient Hebrew name of Sheol, and there they will be in the presence of God. Some will find that acutely uncomfortable because of the attitudes and ways they followed on this earth. Others will find it absolute heaven because of the ways and attitudes that they followed on this earth.

We don’t know what God has for us to do in this permanent new life with Him. We have no idea of His purpose for us. But by our earthly standards, it will be immensely exciting. There we will be with the great Creator of the universe. There we will be privy to His intentions and there we will participate in the great adventure that He has planned for all of us.

That is why it is why is it all-important to me. I want to be there with Him. I want to see and hear and be part of that. Of course I know that I am not one of His saints or Elders, I am not remotely near that. But I want to be there. And to that end it is “exciting” to be one of those who night after night, spends hours talking to God, attempting however weakly, to get Him closer to me so that I can align myself with Him, pleading with Him to show mercy on every single human being in this world.