Perhaps it may turn out a sang,
Perhaps turn out a sermon.

-- R. Burns Epistle to a Young Friend

Monday, February 3, 2014

Take Refuge in Him

I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do.  But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell.  Yes, I tell you, fear him!  Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies?  And not one of them is forgotten before God.  Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows.  – Luke 12:4-7

You are never powerless.  Your enemies and those who want to manipulate you will try to convince you that you are not able to oppose or overcome them.  When a person is sitting in a prison cell or being marched to the gallows in bonds, it can be pretty convincing, but the worst they can do is kill you.  Admittedly, that is bad.  But then what?  The mortality rate is 100% anyway.  The executioner dies in his time. 

Deception is the thing that robs us of power.  All of us, I believe, are fearless when we know we are right and in the right.  It doesn’t mean we push our way to the front.  The truly meek person, knowing he has the power, is not compelled to demonstrate.  The truth does set us free.  If you knew for a fact -- if you had an iron-clad guarantee written in blood by an honorable, absolute monarch that you would inherit a place perfect for you, a guarantee by an omnipotent, omniscient ruler that the end of your body was not the end of your life, you might still fear the pains of the torturer or the transition, but you would know it would pass. 

Jesus, as a man, put aside His omniscience.  There were things that were hidden from Him by the nature of the Incarnation.  The human mind can attend to only so much at one time.  He had to ask who touched Him in a crowd.  He had to pray for the strength of reassurance in the garden.  He could go to the cross and endure the torment and suffering, not because He was God who could not die and could not feel the anguish, but because He was the Man Who Knew He Was Right.  He knew the truth. 

If there is a benefit to argument and debate, it is usually not that we convince the opposition but that we solidify the ground upon which we stand and confirm the position of those on our side.  Once we have reached that bare rock of certainty, debate, for us, ends.  Some people are certain only of their uncertainty and deny that we can ever really know.  They are wrong. 

Cultural norms are ridiculed, and some are mere fashions.  The truth may manifest itself in various times, seasons and situations in differing guises, but it is the truth beneath it.  Appearances may help to make it more palatable and digestible for a given group, but the appearance is not all there is.  Essence is eternal and unchanging.  We can know and be sure of that. 

Seek not to defend forms and appearances, but seek the truth that gives them shape and substance.        

No comments: