More and more, as the years go by, I am convinced that the individuality of each of us is uniquely shaped, not just by genetic schematics assigned us at birth, but by the journey as well, every moment along the way filtered through a brain holding its own reasoning, its own assessment of everything that has happened thus far and its defense against what might happen in the next step. Humanity is complicated. With that said, however, it must also be confessed that I find the Church, in as much as my own experience has come to me, to be much like a religious pharmaceutical counter whose shelves are filled with each denomination peddling its own cure for the common cold. Each provides you with basically the same ingredients. Take your pick, whatever works for you. Success is a matter of matter of faith and commitment. Assurance can only be known when all the symptoms have been eliminated; and it seems like, in this life, sniffles, sinus congestion, and headaches are just “par for the course”. The key phrase in what the above author suggests is “incarnate word”; and that, indeed, is what we have if all we possess is paper and ink bound in a leather wrapping. The inscription of “Holy” stamped on its covering, however, should not be taken to indicate a reverence we attach to the book, itself, but the truth that there, within its contents, we can make contact with that One whose Gospel is presented unto us. It is not OUR sword; it is His, to deliver us from our fears, our shame, and our guilt as we inevitably know it. Always, it needs His Spirit in any revelation thereof; yet it is exactly that possibility that Calvary brings unto us and it is the pursuit of such relationship that keeps the cure alive in our system. Not that the source of our medicine, once re-installed within us, can be lost in any matter other than by our own re-enactment of Adam’s transgression; but common sense tells us that if you want the dosage, you’ve got to go the cabinet, open up the bottle, and swallow….
Saturday, December 6, 2014
“Like the Hebrew alphabet, the alphabet of grace has no vowels; and, in that sense, His words to us are always veiled, subtle, cryptic, so that it is left to us to delve their meaning, to fill in the vowels for ourselves by means of all the faith and imagination we can muster. God speaks to us in such a way, presumably, not because he chooses to be obscure, but because, unlike a dictionary word whose meaning is fixed, the meaning of an incarnate word is the meaning it has for the one it is spoken to, the meaning that becomes close and reflective in our life only when we ferret it out for ourselves.” – Frederick Buechner
Posted by Jim at 9:47 AM