Will we trust what God has revealed? Or must we explain (and know) more than that?
Devotional and Discussion thought off day…
25 And I have been made a servant of the church by God, who gave me this task to perform for your good. It is the task of fully proclaiming his message, 26 which is the secret he hid through all past ages from all human beings but has now revealed to his people. 27 God’s plan is to make known his secret to his people, this rich and glorious secret which he has for all peoples. And the secret is that Christ is in you, which means that you will share in the glory of God. Colossians 1:25-27 (TEV)
Let us not try to reduce the greatness of God to our own poor ideas and human explanations. Let us try to understand that this mystery, for all its darkness, is a light to guide men’s lives. As Saint John Chrysostom said: “We see that Jesus has come from us, from our human substance, and has been born of a virgin mother; but we don’t know how this wonder came about. Let us not waste our energies trying to understand it; rather, accept humbly what God has revealed to us. Don’t try to probe what God has kept hidden.”5 If we have this reverence, we will be able to understand and to love. The mystery will be a splendid lesson for us, much more convincing than any human reasoning. (1)
Thirty years ago this fall I started studying Theology seriously, well as much as an 18year old dual major in Bible (exegetical theology) and Homiletics can be “serious”. During that time I have seen a lot labelled theology which is at best that which is called, “speculation”. The speculators are sincere, have great intentions, and are often brilliant. Their brains work like super computers, and they can store and analyze so much, that to be honest, I often find myself in awe when I am in their presence. Until they move from knowledge that is scriptural into the realms of speculation. Some of those who speculate (and which of us haven’t) aren’t so bright, and indeed, we make some of the most challenging errors.
Examples abound these days, and indeed throughout history. The movement known as Higher Criticism, which combines historical and linguistic knowledge of scripture and its environs, but then turns to specualtion when it makes the data subservient to the observations and logic of the scholars examining it. Another example is those who will wax eloquent on the relationship of justification and santification, or those who debate on the nature of the Eucharist – with such speculation as to when it becomes, to the radii at which the Words of Institution are effective. These all take that which God hasn’t revealed – and make it not only necessarily to meditate on such things – but to come up with the categories and prove their “logic. Another mystery is the Incarnation and the two natures of Christ. And the list grows and grows, including eschatology, pneumatology, baconatology (why can good things happen to bad people) etc.
Why can’t we leave what God left hidden, or left a mystery, hidden and a mystery? Why can’t we simply accept that we will not be omniscient in this life – and continue to explore the height and depth, width and breadth of the love of God, revealed to us in Christ Jesus?
Ultimately, why can’t we trust God?
We have more than enough to work with – as Colossians informs us – we have the very glory of God, into which we are drawn, to examine. We have the relationship – not of the divine and human attributes of Chirst, but the relationship between us and Christ to meditate upon. Christ in us, the very gift of our baptism, the very thing we celebrate in the Lord’s supper, the assurance of our absolution leading to our being welcome in the presence of a Holy and Righteous God. How is that someone that can be laid aside, in order to determine who was more accurate in their speculation about sanctification?
If we leave what God left as mystery, if instead we dwell on the incredible things He has revealed – will that not lead to a great appreciation of His role in our lives? Will it not lead to wonder when we see a baptism and know the promises are for us? Will it not lead to a reverent but absolutely joyous celebration of the Lord’s Supper? Will it not lead to….worship and a desire to spend more time in communion with God?
Or do we grasp all that God has revealed all ready and full applied it within our lives?
So let us rejoice we have a God who is so big -that we cannot understand all that He has created and planned, but we can rely on His faithfulness and His revelation…
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). Christ is Passing By (Kindle Locations 667-674). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- It’s Not About Calling the Qualified, or Even Qualifying the Called… it’s about revealing Christ. (justifiedandsinner.com)
- “My own faith?” … not so much! (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Weary of Praying? (justifiedandsinner.com)
Posted on April 25, 2013, in Devotions and tagged bacon, Christ, Christology, CK Chesterton, Eucharist, faith, Homiletics, John Chrysostom, Magesterial Attributes, Mystery, relationship, St. Josemaria Escriva, The Glory of God, trusting god, Words of Institution. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.