For what can a man give in return for his life? -- Mark 8:37
Monday, August 17, 2015
The Price Is Right
Gold is pretty, for some strange reason. It is malleable, doesn’t corrode and conducts electricity, so it is useful. But it is only useful, in any sense, to life. It has no value apart from the value that man gives to it. It is life, and human life in particular, that is able to imbue any material thing, or all material things with value. Without us – or some being like us – all the gold or platinum, silver, uranium, or iron, diamonds or dirt in the universe is worthless.
It really takes only one person to give value to the universe; thus, God created Adam, alone. Except that a person can’t be a person outside of relationship, as Bob has been explaining to us. So God said to Adam, What does all this mean to you? Adam named all the living creatures, a process of infusing information into existence, following what the Lord had done with Adam himself. Yet, even though Adam was in relationship to the Lord and to the lower orders of life, in effect linking these two realms in his own being, God knew that the man was missing something. Eve was the solution.
Despite the family relationship triad that allows us to become fully human, when man’s connection to God broke down, he lost the source of value in his own life. He no longer saw himself or those around him as possessing God-given, intrinsic value. Instead, fallen man became trapped in his own head. His life and consciousness became a means of satisfying his desires, whatever they might be. Other people became either tools to further or obstacles to thwart his drives and passions.
Such an existence must inevitably end in death. If the source is me, I’m going to run out of juice at some point, either because I cain’t get no satisfaction, or, as is often the case these days, satisfaction don’t satisfy. In the end, all value is lost and we are lost in the chaos of meaninglessness. That’s kind of redundant. Chaos and meaninglessness are two words for the same thing.
Jesus came to heal the broken communion with God. We realize, in Him, that our lives have value to God, that He loves us. We can then love those around us, and we can love creation. It’s as sad thing, and perhaps ironic that science, which started out doing its part to bring meaning to certain still chaotic aspects of the Cosmos, has been turned into a rhetorical device to deny meaning.
Through Christ, we realize that life is the only thing worth the trouble.