Thursday, February 14, 2008

Seeing the Invisible God (1)


100 years ago, Albert Einstein had a faith crisis. He admitted that the complexity and organization of the universe implied a powerful and organized source at its origins. Ultimately, however, he couldn't get over the question: If God is real, then where is he? Einstein concluded that whatever this source was, it must be impersonal; for if a personal God truly existed then surely he would reveal himself to his creation, right?

2,000 years ago, a man named Jesus claimed to be one of three united persons making up the one person of "God". He said he came to take on humanity so that he might pay the consequences of human moral guilt and reconcile us to God. To reconcile is to reveal, to uncover a relationship that was lost.
John 14:19-26 … Jesus said, “Soon the world won’t see me but you will because you will be alive like me. In that day [when you have the Spirit] you will experience intimate unity with me and my Father. You who love me and so follow my words and obey them will receive my Father’s love and my own and I will reveal myself to you.”

Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, why will you reveal yourself only to us and not to the rest of the world?

Jesus replied, “Those who love me trust and follow me and so are open to my Father’s love so that we might come and live inside of them. Anyone who doesn’t love me rejects me and my words which are ultimately from the Father. Even now I'm speaking to you from the Father who sent me while I'm still with you; but when the Father sends the Holy Spirit he will speak to you and explain everything I'm saying.”
Where is God? He is hidden behind the wall of our loveless, arrogant, independence. He is concealed by our pride that will not submit to such exhortations as "obey me" and "follow me". As we swim in the muck of our self-destructive ambition, God stands in the bordering meadow, inviting us home, reaching out his hand that we might simply grasp it, be cleansed, and discover what we have shut ourselves off from.

God loves those who open up to his love. God reveals himself to those who allow him to be revealed. God becomes visible to those focus their attention on him.

Is it hard to understand? The prodigal son could not see the father not because the father had gone but because the son had run away. The father remained waiting at the gate, full of love, eager to welcome his lost son home. Would you not do the same? God waits at home, at our home, the home we left... calling us back to it. Back to himself. He reveals himself, in Spirit, to those who respond to that homecoming call. To lost children who recognize themselves as just that... children.
"Unless you change and become like children, you cannot enter the kingdom of God" (Matthew 18:3).
"Lord, please make us open and humble through Your Spirit's help... that we may be the children we are."

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