We come this morning –
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.
O Lord – open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning. (James Weldon Johnson)
“…Whoever does the truth comes to the light so that it can be seen that their actions were done in God.” (John 3:21; context)
This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “E” is for Enthusiasm. You might be wondering why I chose this word since, at first glance, it doesn’t seem all that religion-y. You’re right – we don’t use this word too often in church. But we should. Do you see the “T-H-U-S” in the middle of the word? Good. If you follow these letters all the way back in time to ancient Greece, they would have looked like this “θεος” or in our alphabet, “theos.” Look familiar? I’ll give you a clue: we get the words “theology” and “atheism” from this same word.
Right! It means “God.” (Theology is the “study of God,” and atheism is “disbelief in God,” (the “a-” making the word negative).) So, let’s go back to our original word: enthusiasm. When we say we are enthusiastic about something, we usually mean that we are excited or passionate about that something. I am enthusiastic about playing guitar and watching Doctor Who, for example.
But if you look at that little Greek root and add the little Greek prefix (“-en” meaning “in”), you get a bit different definition. Etymologically, “enthusiasm” means “in God.” Therefore, when we talk about our passions and excitements, what we are really saying is “these are the ways that I most clearly notice that I am in God.” Pretty cool, huh?
So, what are your passions? What are you enthusiastic about? How do you meet your Creator when you get involved with them?
Dear God, you are within me even as I exist always in you. Help me to find those things that bring me closer to you, and help me recognize your presence in my life. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.
I leave this moment with you, God, taking hope in the overarching reality that you are the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end.