Monday, October 26, 2009

In awe of a stuttering and lisping God.

We have no idea how different He is than us, how much more He is than us, how absolute and incomprehensible His utter transcendence is. We are not capable of even beginning the intellectual, spiritual/mystical, or emotional act of conceiving of Him. When we quote, "'My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,' declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts,'" (Isaiah 55:8,9) we barely understand this divine confession. One of the most serious indictments in the Bible - to this rat - occurs in Psalm 50:21, where the LORD laments, "you thought I was just like you." May it never be, O great God! How far down do you have to stoop, to condescend, to speak to us? To surround us with your glory, how dumbed-down did You have to make Your "invisible attributes" to paint the inconceivable detail, joyous beauty, and humbling grandeur of this creation? O Christ, O eternal God the Son, how does an Infinite Beyond get poured out of Your Being so that it could be said of You: "...Christ Jesus...emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant...being made in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:7)? Every day of eternity will bring a greater, unending, ever-satisfying measure of what has been lost in translation here on this earth. You, the all-sufficient pleasure of the soul, will have to bring us up that unimaginably lofty ladder between this sod we walk and Your throne. We cannot wait!

Let me quote the great Reformer of Geneva:

"For who is so devoid of intellect as not to understand that God...lisps with us as nurses are wont to do with little children?" (Institutes of the Christian Religion, I.13.1)

"If we heard God speaking to us in His majesty, it would be useless to us, for we would understand nothing. Therefore, since we are carnal, He has to stutter or otherwise He would not be understood by us" (Sermon on 1 John 1:1-5).

And so I journeyed with family from the rim of the Rio Grande Gorge to the river itself, descending 700 feet in less than a mile. Beautiful. Stunning. Awesome. This is the most basic, vague, and childish way He communicates Himself to us: His creation.

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If this is the lisp, if this the stutter, how beyond the most glorious descriptions of a million writers of human masterpiece, laboring for a billion years, is our great God and Savior?