The Via Positiva and the Bible, Part One

The Scriptures abound with news of the Via Positiva! Just a few examples from the Hebrew Bible follow:

 “God saw everything that God had made, and indeed, it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31)

 “When I look at your heavens,
the works of your fingers,
the moon and the stars that you
have established,
what are human beings that you are
mindful of them,
mortals that you care for them?
Yet you have made them a little
lower than God,
and crowned them with glory and honor.” (Ps. 8:3-5)

“Golden Sunrise” Photo by Jordan Wozniak on Unsplash

“The heavens are telling the glory of God;
And the firmament proclaims
The divine handiwork….
In the heavens God has set a tent
for the sun,
which comes out like a bridegroom
from his wedding canopy,
and like a strong man runs its
course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens,
and its circuit to the end of them;
and nothing is hid from its heat. (Ps. 19:1-6)

“Bless the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, you are very great.
You are clothed with honor and majesty,
wrapped in light as with a garment.
You stretch out the heavens like a tent,
you set the beams of your chambers
on the waters,

“Storm Over Water” Photo by Max LaRochelle on Unsplash

you make the clouds your chariot,
you ride on the wings of the wind,
you make the winds your messengers,
fire and flame your ministers.
You set the earth on its foundations,
so that it shall never be shaken…. 
You make springs gush forth in the valleys;
they flow between the hills,
giving drink to every wild animal;
the wild asses quench their thirst.
By the streams the birds of the air
have their habitation;
they sing among the branches.

“Marsh Bird Flying” Photo by Adam Muise on Unsplash

From your lofty abode you water
the mountains;
the earth is satisfied with the
fruit of your work.
You cause the grass to grow for the cattle,
and plants for people to use,
to bring forth food from the earth,
and wine to gladden the human heart,
oil to make the face shine,
and bread to strengthen the human heart.
The trees of the LORD are watered abundantly,
the cedars of Lebanon that he planted.
In them the birds build their nests;
the stork has its home in the fir trees.

“Lioness at Twilight” Photo by Ramon Vloon on Unsplash

The high mountains are for the wild goats;
the rocks are a refuge for the coneys.
You have made the moon to mark the seasons;
the sun knows its time for setting.
You make darkness, and it is night,
when all the animals of the forest
come creeping out.
The young lions roar for their prey,
seeking their food from God.
When the sun rises,
they withdraw and
lie down in their dens.
People go out to their work
and to their labor until the evening.” (Ps. 104:1-5; 10-23)

Banner image: “Snowy Mountains Under Stars” Photo by Benjamin Voros on Unsplash

Lectio Divina

Take any phrase from these readings and be with it; let it wash over you and through you. Chant, draw, or dance it: what does it say to you?

Recommended Readings

Matthew Fox calls on all the world traditions for their wisdom and their inspiration in a work that is far more than a list of theological position papers but a new way to pray—to meditate in a global spiritual context on the wisdom all our traditions share. Fox chooses 18 themes that are foundational to any spirituality and demonstrates how all the world spiritual traditions offer wisdom about each.

Responses are welcomed. To add your comment, please click HERE or scroll to the bottom of the page.

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13 thoughts on “The Via Positiva and the Bible, Part One”

  1. Avatar

    Then Sings my soul my savior God to thee: How Great Thou Art, how great thou art.

    I’m a United Methodist. We sing.

    1. Gail Ransom

      Thank you, Loren, for lifting up the image from Psalm 8 of “the works of your fingers” from today’s meditation and offering it to us for further contemplation.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditations Team

  2. Avatar

    And also, “The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago…when there were no depths i was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth…when he established the heavens, I was there, …when he made firm the skies above,..when he assigned to the sea its limit…then I was beside him like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.” Proverbs 8:22-31

    1. Avatar

      ah, the story of wisdom! followed in the next chapter by her invitation to eat and drink at her table:-)
      the glory, beauty and strength of god are enhanced by wisdom, first-born and co-worker in creation – seeking the simple, that they may gain understanding. these are comforting and inspiring images!

    2. Gail Ransom

      Thank you, Sue, for this quote from Proverbs 8:22-32. Through it, you remind us that in addition to the beauty of creation, wisdom is there as well, giving divine form its functions, and connecting it to the wider web of life. Besides the visual, there is an inner integrity, the principle of love, and the promise of regeneration which bind all matter to divine nature. Could this be what Wisdom is describing in Proverbs 8? Perhaps the Cosmic Christ informing creation from the beginning, just as described in the first verses of the book of John.
      Proverbs 8:22-32

  3. Avatar

    Ahhhh, yes, wordless adoration with a most exquisite symphony of musical notes dancing around in the energy…everything that has breathe praises the Lord… listening real quiet like you can hear it…majestic ecstasy!

    Thank you kind sir!

  4. Avatar

    I am enjoying the meditations!

    What is the beautiful typeface you are using?

    Thank you for the gorgeous images and introducing me to unsplash!

    1. Phila Hoopes

      Thank you, Mary – it’s always nice to hear that the design elements are resonating with our readers!
      We are using two typefaces – Garamond for the headers and Monserrat for the body text.
      Yes, Unsplash has some amazing images. Also, if you are seeking images, check out the free stockhouses Pexels, Pixabay, Reshot, and Foootage; the public domain respositories and; and the Creative Commons hubs Flickr.
      Phila Hoopes
      Blog Coordinator

    2. Gail Ransom

      Dear Mary,
      Thank you for commenting on the images and font that we use in our daily meditations. This is the work of Phila Hoopes who searches across the internet for appropriate images that lift up Matthew’s themes. As you may notice, she always includes the name of the artist who created the image. I have sent your query about the font to her directly. Perhaps she can share it with you.
      Gail Sofia Ransom
      For the Daily Meditation Team

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