I’ll be honest with you: there are times I have found it hard to be honest with God. The strange thing is, it’s not because I want to be dishonest with God. Sometimes it’s because I am stressed and anxious, and my prayers are fast-paced and emotionally disengaged.
What is the first image that comes to your mind when you think about prayer? Someone on their knees with their hands clasped together toward heaven? The prophet Daniel praying three times a day with his window open toward Jerusalem in defiance of the government?
I was standing in a group of people I love and I couldn’t hide or deny my hurtful behavior. Everyone saw what I did. I couldn’t make excuses or suppress the truth. There was no justification for it. I was caught and stood there with my shame exposed.
Tillich is undoubtedly a controversial figure in theology, and he and I disagree on a number of key realities, but one of things I can appreciate about Paul Tillich was his effort to take Christian concepts and symbols that felt stale to cultural and societal conversation (a conversation that was increasingly growing more secular), and hit the refresh button on these concepts so that they could make a renewed impact.