“that you may know you have eternal life.”
1 John 5:13
In all my wrangling with Catholic doctrine of late, it may seem as if the main point has been lost. Indeed, it hasn’t; however, it is certainly important to step back now and then and look at the entire landscape. Let’s do a bit of that here today.
What is the whole point of this business of Christianity? Is it to make people’s lives more enjoyable or manageable? While it is true that Jesus will give us strength to persevere in his strange gift of hope, there is still a greater purpose. Are we Christians so we go to heaven (and not to hell)? Yes, it’s true that no one may see (or enter) the kingdom of God unless one is born again of the Spirit. It’s also true that those who aren’t will suffer eternal judgment in the lake of fire. Certainly, we are to warn people of these things. Jesus did.
It seems to me that these things are me-focused. How I might benefit seems short-sighted. Indeed, it is.
When one looks at the complexity of the universe and the things in it, you can’t help but be speechless. The universe itself is so vast that one really can’t comprehend it. Likewise, the atomic level is so minute that “if you removed all the empty space from atoms that make up all the humans on the planet, then you could fit all 6 billion of us inside a single apple.” (BBC News) Doesn’t that blow you away?
The fact is, God demonstrates his existence through nature. The bible tells us “his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.” (Romans 1:19)
I don’t know about you, but when I really start looking into things of nature, something happens to me. All the cares of the world seem to go away. They stay away, too, while I am absorbed in it. And, like an enjoyable vacation, “reality” snaps back all too quickly.
Then again, maybe creation is the true reality and all my problems in the world aren’t the main point of my life. When I’m lost in in the wonders of creation, I find myself also thankful to God who provides all things. He really is good. I’m actually amazed at how seldom I acknowledge my gratitude.
But there is still something more than creation, something beyond – or behind – it. Creation was created. God is the one behind it all. He’s the one who imagined all this in the first place. He’s the one who came up with the idea of neutrons and protons and electrons. He created all the math that makes it all work. He imagined proteins and elements and made living creatures out of nothing.
And yet, I am quite sure, he knows me.
Despite all my flaws, he stopped to have compassion on me. He forever changed my course – from among those who were without an excuse – to become a child of his who cries out, “Abba! Father!” I was once his enemy – by my own choice – yet he changed me. I am a new person.
Why did he do this?
Romans 9:23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory –
God’s mercy is beyond our capacity to comprehend. Even so, we can relish in it.
Romans 11:33-36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
We have lots of reasons to talk openly about Jesus with everyone. Certainly, God is worthy. Take some time today and immerse yourself in Psalm 96.
Father, thank you.
Copyright © 2020 Scott Powers