Do You Have the “Need to Know”
Devotional Thoughts of the Day:
4The Word was the source of life, and this life brought light to humanity. 5The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has never put it out….. 9This was the real light—the light that comes into the world and shines on everyone……14 The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us. We saw his glory, the glory which he received as the Father’s only Son. John 1:4,9,14 TEV
786 May no attachment bind you to earth except the most divine desire of giving glory to Christ and, through him and with him and in him, to the Father and to the Holy Spirit.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.”
6 What does this mean?
Answer: I believe that by my own reason or strength I cannot believe in Jesus Christ, my Lord, or come to him. But the Holy Spirit has called me through the Gospel, enlightened me with his gifts, and sanctified and preserved me in true faith, just as he calls, gathers, enlightens, and sanctifies the whole Christian church on earth and preserves it in union with Jesus Christ in the one true faith.
Man has searched for enlightenment for centuries, we see it in the writings of the Ancient Greeks, the Ancient Chinese, the Incas and others. We see it in the gnostic cults that sprang up in early Christianity, and in their Jewish predecessors that looked for enlightenment deeper than the actual words in the Old Testament. Of course, there is what we call the Age of Enlightenment, or the Age of Reason. This latter period is one I tend to credit for screwing up the world that I know.
We’ve fallen for the same line that Satan gave Adam and Eve, that knowledge leads us to be like gods. And so, while we are blinded to our brokenness, to the gaps in our reasoning, to the limited knowledge we have, Satan convinces us that we are the judges of what is reasonable, that we know what is best, that if it doesn’t make sense to us, it can’t be right. (Which is a claim for being all-knowing)
Pastors and Theologians fall into this all the time, as we try to explain mysteries like how God is Three, and yet One. Or how the Body and Blood of Jesus are physically present or not in the Celebration of the Eucharist, or how we have the free will to reject Jesus, but not choose to be saved. We want the knowledge of life and death, of good and evil, and if we can’t have it if we are blind to the brilliance of God, we (or Satan) baffle ourselves with our own bullshit.
Which is where our readings and the liturgical season that begins tomorrow comes into play. It corrects our thirst to know the unknowable, by focusing us on what we need to know.
Epiphany is the celebration of God’s glory coming and dwelling with us. It is the realization of the light that shined, that the Wise Man saw and searched for diligently. (even that search was because of the promises God revealed through the prophet Daniel and others) Even as a babe – the glory was revealed. Throughout His ministry, including the Transfiguration, but also the teaching, the miracles, the peace that people knew, His glory was revealed. On the cross, where our sin, the guilt, the shame, the wrath that it deserved, he freed su from all of that, there is where His glory is revealed the clearest. For what we praise God for, is the love He has for us, and the way that love causes Him to act toward us.
It is the work of the Holy Spirit, revealing to us the love of God, the glorious love of God that is found in Jesus. True God, True man, and complete in truth. It is the Spirit that helps us to see Jesus, that draws us to Him, and to the cross, the most glorious moment – because at the cross His love for us, His mercy, His care was fully revealed.
We saw His glory, John says in his gospel, and that is enough. Being drawn into that glory, into the love of God, is what we really need to know, it is what we have to know, no matter the size of our bank account, our IQ, how much talent we have, or knowledge. Everything else we thirst for as far as knowledge is but a shadow,
It is our need to know, and the Holy Spirit has revealed to us Jesus, and we know Him.
Escriva, Josemaria. The Way (Kindle Locations 1813-1814). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
Tappert, Theodore G., ed. The Book of Concord the Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press, 1959. Print.