O.D. and G.C. are the best of buddies despite the fact that those of their species often do not get along. The two became friends just before the conflict that normally characterizes`encounters between dogs and cats. G.C. (Green Cat), even as he primed his razor sharp feline claws, looked quizzically at O.D. (Orange Dog). "Hey buddy. Are you an orange dog?" O.D., ready to pounce, responded, "Yeah, fella, what's it to ya?! And, by the way, are you a green cat?" The interchange led to a fairly long discussion about their unique hues, and the subsequent ostracization they experience among their own kind. O.D. and G.C. realized they have much in common, and before long, cat claws receded, dog hip flexors relaxed, and a beautiful friendship ensued.
Oh yes, I suppose I should tell you that O.D. and G.C. are the star characters in bedtime stories I share with my grandchildren Jack and Emma when they spend the night. Don't tell them, but the tales are made up in the moment and on the fly, as it were, so you never know (nor do I) what's going to happen next. From a visit to a veterinarian by reluctant O.D. (piece of glass in paw), to a trip across town (they got lost), to whatever's coming next (they encounter a raccoon), Orange Dog and Green Cat have become part of our family lore and imagination.
"We have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty" (II Peter 1:16).
In contrast to O.D. and G.C., the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ exists as the perfect union of eternal spirituality and literal historicity. "The Word was made flesh" (John 1:14). We trust in the God who became man (and who remains man). We believe in events that actually happened in space/time history, as determined and directed by our "from everlasting to everlasting" Lord. The facts and accounts of Scripture do not proceed from mere imagination or "cunningly devised fables," but rather from events that took place in real time and actual venue.
The importance of believing such truth lies in the fact of God's faithfulness. He plainly conveys His Word to us in terms of historicity, and we must believe accordingly to avoid misrepresentation of His character and misappropriation of His reality. We must proclaim that "God… cannot lie" (Titus 1:2). Moreover, we must have confidence in the literal nature of Scripture in order to walk in the confidence of God's literal nature in own lives and experience. Is He actually present with and within us? Can we expect His working along the dusty pathways of our lives as we actually live them? Any weakness in our confidence in the Scriptural record greatly damages our anticipation concerning the God who "inhabiteth eternity" - and who inhabits today.
I enjoy imagining O.D. and G.C. for my grandchildren, and they also seem to enjoy the fanciful tales. I enjoy far more believing in a Christ who literally has been, is, and always will be. I rejoice in His Word that perfectly proclaims God and His truth. And I joyfully look forward to discovering the God who is actually here in the venues of my life because He was actually there in the venues of Scripture. This is our faith, originated and communicated in the reality of both eternity and time by the God who lives - literally - in both.
"Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh."
(I Timothy 3:16)
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life. For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and show unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us."
(I John 1:1-2)
Weekly Memory Verse
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: by whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.