“Unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” – John 12:24
“The last enemy to be destroyed is death...Death is swallowed up in victory.” – 1 Corinthians 15:26, 54
"The greater the sin, the greater the mercy, the deeper the death and the brighter the rebirth.” - C. S. Lewis
"This story...has the very taste of primary truth." - J. R. R. Tolkien

Monday, January 30, 2012

Staring at the Sun

Who is God, really? How should we think of God? We can begin by recognizing that we cannot know God. He is infinite, we are finite. He is the uncreated One, we are created. We can never fully cross this chasm by ourselves; it is like staring at the Sun, or climbing an infinite mountain. There are mysteries we will never grasp, depths we will never plumb, heights too high even for the Seraphim. Is this cause for discouragement? No indeed. This realization brings from C. S. Lewis the greatest outburst of praise, culminating what is perhaps the most beautiful chapter in all his writing. In Perelandra he speaks of “the Abyss of the Father, into which if a creature drop down his thoughts for ever he shall hear no echo return to him. Blessed, blessed, blessed be He!" No matter how much we take in in ages and worlds to come, there will always be abundantly more of God to discover. We will always be able to drop our thoughts down so deep that no echo ever returns. No echo!

Only after realizing this can we appreciate the truth that God has crossed this great chasm. The Incarnation is the fall of God, the descent of the Creator into creation. Before God became a man, the world was, though fallen, still reflecting His light: We may see God’s beauty in the stars, or in great music, or in human relationships, and exclaim with Lewis “what must be the quality of that Being whose far-off and momentary coruscations are like this!” But now in Jesus, God has given us a face, an “image” as Paul says. In this man’s deep love and humility, set side by side with his bold authority, and in his great courage at the end - in all this the greatest light breaks through. We see in small measure the personality of God, the character of a Person.