Sunday, June 10, 2007

Afraid of all the right things...

Note: sorry for all the duplicate posting, I've been having trouble with blogger. If you'd like to check out my DESTASH post scroll down. Thanks :)

Today the sermon was on the mystery of the trinity. I think a mystery must be a difficult thing to preach on, and I appreciated the pastor's approach. He affirmed it, described it, and detailed the implications of our belief in it, but he was careful not to explain away the mystery at the heart of the doctrine. Instead, he reminded us that a spiritual mystery cannot be comprehended, only engaged with by faith.

Part of the pastor's point was that science makes us feel we can understand many of the mysteries of the universe, even when scientists themselves admit that there are many aspects of reality that may be beyond our comprehension. That reminded me of a Shakespeare passage that I came across in college:

They say miracles are past and we have our
philosophical persons to make modern and familiar
things supernatural and causeless. Hence it is that we
make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming
knowledge when we should submit ourselves to
an unknown fear. All's Well That Ends Well 2.3.1-5

The other day I caught myself lamenting that I don't know where I'm going to live in a few months, or what will happen with my job... but then I realized that no one knows what will happen tomorrow. Perhaps it is more of a blessing to recognize what it is that we don't know. Modern life has made it so easy to feel safe, to find "familiar" things that we ought to hold in awe.

Many people would rather ensconce themselves in false security than “submit themselves to an unknown fear” and for this I cannot blame them. Who wants to be at the mercy of a chaotic universe?

What this point of view fails to take into account is the sovereignty and goodness of God. He does not call us to fear the future, or to fear evil, or to fear death... but only to fear him. For to fear him is the beginning of wisdom. I am not the first to observe that a constant awareness of God’s presence, his holiness, his love… would profoundly change the way we live every moment.

If we fear God, we need not fear anything else.

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