One of The Pink Flamingo’s regular reads is a site called the King’s English. I highly recommend it. Based on the writings of the Reverend Glen Scrivener, who is an Anglican priest in England, it is about well known phrases from the King James Version of the Bible. On his blog, the other day, he wrote:
“...But here’s the thing – “The Trinity” does not reveal God. Jesus reveals God (might I add, by the Spirit). That’s the trinity. But “The Trinity” is not the image of the invisible God. “The Trinity” is not the Mediator between a Distant-Power-God and today’s agnostic enquirer. Rublev’s is not the Icon of the unseen LORD – Jesus is.
Today Christians are awaking more and more to the wonder of trinity and that’s very exciting. Without trinity there is no gospel. There is no other God but Jesus with His Father and Spirit. And, in Jesus, we participate in that divine nature. These truths need shouting from the rooftops.
But… in our excitement to lift up the wonder of the intra-trinitarian life, there is a danger. The danger is that Jesus might not be the Way in to “God is love.” Instead natural theology provides the in. The argument runs something like this: “We all know that love is lovely, well wouldn’t it be nice if God was love in just the way we all understand love….” See the danger?…”
Fitting in with this, he wrote:
“...One of the most common questions about prayer is this: “Should I really pray to God about such and such?” Sometimes we feel that “bothering God” with the minutiae of our lives is beneath the majesty of the Most High. Surely God is too lofty to consider me? What He wants are grand acts of devotion, not needy requests.
This is nonsense – but we all fall into such thinking. That’s why we need the Apostle John to revolutionize our thinking. Listen to the opening phrase of His Gospel::
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. (John 1:1)
John takes us to the ultimate beginning: Genesis. The God who was “in the beginning” was not Word-less but Word-full. Indeed it is by the Word that He has made all things. But God and His Word go way back – before creation. God has never been without His Word. He has always had Another alongside Him.
This “Other” is “with” Him (v1) and “in His bosom” (v18). Verse 17 names Him most clearly as “Jesus Christ.” But there are three other names by which He is known in this chapter: the Word (v1), the Light (v4) and the only begotten Son (v18).
We could spend years considering what such names mean for Jesus. But, for now, let’s explore what this means for the God in Whose bosom Jesus has ever dwelt.
It means that God is eternally Speaker/ Shiner /Father. Rewind the tape into the depths of eternity and you will only ever see the Speaker communicating His eternal Word, the Shiner radiating His eternal Light, the Father begetting His eternal Son.
This is wonderful news, because these three qualities are quintessentially outgoing characteristics. God is not first God (in all His Godness) and then Speaker / Shiner / Father. No, God has never been anything other than Speaker / Shiner / Father. God is other-centred, to the depths of eternity and to the core of His Being….”
This does give one goosebumps – or it should. Maybe I’m just feeling the effects of this bug that is bugging me.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to
all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.” ’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.
You know, when you have good stuff, why add superfluous verbiage?
We all have our idea of what heaven should be. When I was growing up, and literally forced to attend Sunday services at this little mountain church near the place my parents forced us to spend our summers (stuff for the therapist) heaven was described as a place with streets paved with gold. That’s nice, but I don’t really care about all that gold. The photos of the lily pond are some I took, ages ago, at the Memphis Zoo.
It dawned on me they represent what heaven would be for me – something like a peaceful Zen Garden, with a nice set of wind chimes in the breeze (baritone of course).
Maybe the problem, right now, is that I need a little peace, quiet, and serenity, and a heck of a lot of calm in my life. Maybe that’s why I view heaven this way.
To me, this is a beautiful image, peaceful, where one could spend forever, just being quiet.
It has dawned me on how I could do something like this on the balconies of my condo. Nah, I have cats, what ever was I thinking?
My mother thinks that Heaven is eternity in the presence of our Heavenly Father. I think she is right.