Tuesday, August 16, 2011
"Remember Dad's 60th birthday?"
"Yes, I do. All us kids were here. It was great."
"Look what I found in Mom's closet. It's the family tree chart that I made for Dad's birthday."
"Oh, wow! That's great. I had forgotten that you made that for Dad."
"Goes back to the old country. Look at all the -dotter and -sen names. The dates are late 1700's."
"That's cool to see again, Kevin. Glad you found it."
"Am I on there?" queries the daughter of the chart's creator.
"Yeah, you're there, Liz." Dad points to the chart. "I labeled you as 'Fetus Johnson' under your mom and I."
"Why would you label me as a fetus?"
"Mom was still pregnant with you."
Dad laughs some more. Never making eye contact with Liz.
I am uncomfortable and look towards Liz.
Her eyes well up with tears as she turns on her heels to hide her face.
May the Holy Spirit continue to open the eyes of the daughter to see the truth that her father cannot see. Amen.
Monday, August 15, 2011
World War II employed many strategies to conquer. One strategy was to use paratroopers to infiltrate enemy territory. They would jump from planes and land secretly behind enemy lines. Not desiring to be seen by the enemy until they arrived at the desired location and time, they remained hidden. The effect they wanted to have on their opponent could happen only on the terms of the paratroopers.
The Triune God of Christianity is much like the paratroopers. He shows Himself when and where He determines for maximum effect. He is not revealed in places where we seek Him. He hides until the location and timing are accurate and effective. We are naturally suspicious of God and do not trust His revelation so we seek Him where we think He is, in our speculations, systematics, and guesses. Some seek him in native and pagan religions; others seek him in nature; still others seek him behind the whys of their systematic theologies. These are misplaces. Instead, God reveals Himself where we do not seek Him.
We often look for God in our why questions. Why does God allow suffering? Why does God allow evil? Why, why, why. We have an endless supply of why questions that are answered by speculation. These speculations often build theologies. In some of the theologies, it is difficult to tell God from the devil! Does God reveal Himself in our why queries? He hides from answering our whys. He reveals Himself in Word, preached and read, and in Sacraments. He tells us He is a friend to sinners, He creates all things new, He kills our old nature to create a new creature with His Word.
The triune God reveals Himself in the Spirit by whom we receive the Father's reconciling work through the Son. The Son will not be found apart from being begotten by the Father and raised from the dead; the Father won't be found without sending the Son to do the reconciling work on the cross; and the Holy Spirit will not be found without glorifying both the Father and the Son by giving us understanding of the Gospel, that is for us and for our sake.
Thanks be to Christ Jesus our Lord, who quells our endless whys of non-faith!