Monday, December 13, 2010

"God, Large and Small"

Were it possible to think of God in terms of size, we would have to conclude that He is both infinitely large, and infinitesimally small.

The universe fits this description (although as a created thing, it is, by definition, finite). Journey out into the far reaches of space at the speed of light, and you will journey for literally billions of years without approaching the outer boundaries of creation. Conversely, a voyage into the atom and its untold myriad of particles, sub particles, and bewildering forces would involve no less time, and no less failure to enter into the essence of the small.

God made the universe in this breathtaking fashion in order to reveal Himself. "The invisible things of Him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made" (Romans 1:20). He would be known as both large and small. That is, we must be awed by our Creator to the degree that conceptual thought and language are realized as inadequate in pondering and describing the wonder that is God. However, we must also be sure that the God of the heavens is known as the God of the heart. He is approachable, and is in fact nearer to us than we are to ourselves. "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28). God must be seen as both the Beyond of the measureless and the Baby of the manger.

In this light both blinding and illuminating, we realize the seeming impossibility of relating to God, and the seeming impossibility of not doing so. Indeed, how can the finite approach the Infinite? But then, how can we fail to see, know, and commune with the One who in every moment "giveth to all life and breath and all things?" (Acts 17:25). There are no answers to these questions. There is rather a Person in whom the measureless and the manger meet to form the most wonderful reality in God's eternity and in His creation. There is the Lord Jesus Christ.

"In Him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Colossians 2:9).

In a Bible of mind and heart-boggling declarations, the Apostle Paul's statement that the All of God somehow finds residence in the limits of the "bodily" may be the most bewildering. Indeed, there is no one like the Lord Jesus. He is God, He is all God. But He is man, He is all man. He is the Uncreated, but He is also "the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). He is measureless in His being and personhood, but He is forever housed in the soul and body of a real humanity. He is "the Savior of all men," but He is also Judge who will one day say to unbelievers, "Depart from Me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire" (I Timothy 4:6; Matthew 25:41). In His earthly life, the Apostle John rested his head upon the chest of the Lord Jesus. In the glory of Heaven, John "fell at His feet as dead" upon beholding the risen Christ (John 13:25; Revelation 1:17). As one writer of old described, our Lord is "the Beyond in the midst." In the Lord Jesus, the infinite and the infinitesimal of God unite to reveal both a glory and a humility that drive us to our faces even as they lift us to our feet.

God, large and small. We must know Him in both expressions of His being, nature, character and way. We must feel a great sense of futility when faced with the challenge of knowing a being so vast that "the heaven of heavens cannot contain Thee" (II Chronicles 2:6). But we must also rejoice in a great assurance of faith that through Christ, the trusting heart can know God more intimately than anyone else. The Beyond is in the midst. The infinitely large and the infinitesimally small unite in the amazing person of the Lord Jesus. Perhaps more amazing, they unite in us as God, large and small, graces our hearts with the vivid scene of that which cannot be seen.

"Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."

(John 9:41)

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