The image of the invisible God

Tell me true and glorious things this Christmas Eve, Jonathan Edwards:

Therefore as God with perfect clearness, fullness and strength, understands Himself, views His own essence (in which there is no distinction of substance and act but which is wholly substance and wholly act), that idea which God hath of Himself is absolutely Himself. This representation of the Divine nature and essence is the Divine nature and essence again: so that by God’s thinking of the Deity must certainly be generated. Hereby there is another person begotten, there is another Infinite Eternal Almighty and most holy and the same God, the very same Divine nature.

Two things I don’t thank God for

I like this Thanksgiving thing. I like the idea of specific days when you remember and reflect and consider and thank.

I always start my thanksgiving in the usual obvious place: being thankful to God.  I thank God for all that He has given to me, for all that He has done in me; through me.

You know what I realized this morning as I was reading Luke 22?  There are a couple of things I don’t tend to thank God for:

  1. I don’t tend to thank Him for the painful conviction and broken repentance that followed the moments when I denied Him and exchanged Him for the fleeting pleasures of this world.

Waiting

He’s good at waiting.

He’s been doing it since before the foundation of the world when He dreamed this whole thing up.

Waiting for the fullness of time.  Waiting for the moment of redemption in a billion different stories.  He’s waiting now.

He’s waiting for me to turn back from the pigpen, waiting for my shadowy figure to appear on the horizon, waiting to fling up His robes and run toward me.  He’s waiting for me to turn off the TV and open the letter He left me to tell me to assure me that I’m not alone no matter what it looks like.

Fear

The fear is always there.  It lurks just below the surface prodding and pushing, demanding and dragging me places I don’t want to go.

I’m not afraid of death.

I’m afraid of life.

I’m afraid of waking up to a world I reject.  I’m afraid that the words ‘it won’t always be like this’ are hollow and void of any real power.  I’m afraid that the next bend in the road will lead me somewhere darker than death.  I’m afraid of being unknown, unwanted, rejected and alone.  I’m afraid that the next time someone asks me how I am doing I will tell them the truth and then I will have to watch their eyes widen and their face flush before I make a joke to relieve the awful pressure of reality pushing down on us both.

Consider Jesus

For the hurting, for the suffering, for those in pain today: consider Jesus.

Consider Him who was by His nature exempt from all suffering, who entered into flesh and pain and death so that He could look at you today and say ‘I know.’  Consider Him who had access to any means of deliverance, (which you and I would gladly take in our pain), and yet He walked steadily into a pain beyond any we will ever experience.  Consider your great High priest who has born your sorrows.

For the failures and the flawed, for those who feel the burden and weight of shame today: consider Jesus.