Monday, August 30, 2010


Just what does it mean to be caught unexpected? Sometimes it like someone comes from behind and startles you. It could be a raise in your income at work. It could take many forms.
It is the unexpected moments in life that can either make us take a step back, make us run away or go into a paralysis. These are how I normally embrace the unexpected.
My question is, how would G-d want me to respond to these moments and increments of intercepted gifts from His own hand.
Mary the mother of Jesus, questioned how this she could bear a son when she had no husband. This above all would be the most unpredictable event in the life of such a young girl. What did she say, and what did she do with this newsflash? In the gospel of Luke chp. 1:47 it says this;"My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in G-d my savior....". Her response goes on for 8 more verses, but the point is that she handled the unexpected news with rejoicing, praising and a liturgy that is still preached, recited and studied 2000 years later.
A very difficult application for this 41 year old man who not to long ago found out that his wife will be having their fifth child. Very unexpected, but very blessed indeed.
Lord may you take this man who is still under construction and give him strength so as to give help to his wife Lord I pray today that your name may be uplifted in all of my lifes twists and turns that never take you unexpectedly.
Bruch Hashem.

Friday, August 27, 2010

For what do the Scriptures say?

I am thinking this morning that this on going commentary should have its own blog. Until then however I'll post maybe just one more after this one.
In this continuance of this commentary I have to be as honest as I can in searching out Pauls intent in his writing. So I will always steer away from some systematic apologetic s of trying to make Paul fit my theological framework. My framework however is not quite systematic anyway.
Soooo, here we go! V.11-12 "For the scriptures say,"Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.".
Paul always point back to the prophets as the authoritative Word. I will say this before moving on, as I believe it is imperative for the usage of scripture here, that Paul purposely and wisely chose this particular quote because of the usage of the pronoun "pas'". The word "pas" from the Greek is translated as all, everyone, or whoever. It is an all inclusive word and thus a non exclusive statement leading right into the further analysis of G-d saving "Jew and Greek alike".
Paul makes a clear mark in the clay of his readers thinking;"For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek....". He use the word "diastole" which means distinction;difference;interval;space or distance. Even though there are distinct differences in ritual observation, foods to abstain from, times of months and years to be sanctified that ore obligatory for the Jew, there is no difference on how all people come before G-d. G-d is the Lord of Lords, the creator of everything that can be seen and unseen. G-d is not exclusive to any one group or religion; G-d is over ALL. We must all come the same way, and that is through repentance and acceptance of the wonderful revelation of G-d Himself. Paul is just evening up the gap for the purpose of dismantling the wall of pride and prejudice that is built up by both parties addressed.
V 13-"For whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved."
To understand this quote, Paul uses the words from the Prophet Joel. There are two phrases to understand that I think are important here. Let's start with "For whoever calls on the name of the Lord...". It's imperative to understand the context here and to see why Paul chose the prophet Joel to make his statement of faith and confession. So as to make this quick I just broke down the chapters of Joel into a synopsis. Chapter on speaks of the invasion of the destroying locusts and a call to repentance. Chapter 2 deals with the eschatological "day of the Lord'; war and bloodshed; returning to the land and the pouring out of G-ds Spirit. Chapter 3 talks of G-ds judging the nations and the glorious future of Judah.
After a revealing look at the future era of messianic reign, when G-d had shown jealousy for the land and His people(2:18), G-d says that afterward He would do something. Biblically and prophetically speaking, this would be the end of the times of the Gentiles. That is to say that Israel would have by divine decree, their land apart from the Gentile ruler ship.
In all of these promises, Joel pronounces by way of inspiration;"I will pour out my Spirit in all flesh...". The "all flesh" is speaking of just that; "all flesh". Whether Jew or Gentile. The Spirit of G-d will inspire not just the Jew, but break the boundaries of the sexes through:"your sons and daughters"; through barriers of age:"your old men shall have dreams and your young men shall see visions.". G-d even breaks the through the walls of what we call first class and lower class;"even on the male and female slaves in those days I will pour out my Spirit.".
This is Pauls purpose in his usage of this passage, it is to demonstrate that G-d is impartial to the idea of ethnic superiority and that he is the maker of all flesh and all are welcome unequivocally to call on Him.
This is the second phrase included in the verse and that is to call in Him. Joel uses the Hebrew expression "to call" and it basically means to summons G-ds aid. To have this done is for the person calling to have come to a place of understanding of who we are and who G-d is. It is place of humility, divine sorrow for sins and a desperate cry for help that we cannot bring ourselves and thus are dependent upon the G-d of all. The Greek word used for this same expression is "epikalomeous", and it means to call upon or attach or connect to a name.
Paul has an interesting thought with the usage of words and quotes, he uses it to kind of purport an apologetic response to the superiority syndrome and states not only that the nations will call upon the G-d of creation, but will attach His name to theirs and their name to His. This proves to only slam the door on the pride of each of the hearers of the letter.
May we "all" recognize the place where we are at, that we are all the same and in need of G-ds divine favor and grace. I am no better and am in no way superior to any one, because even the faith that I have I cannot even claim as my own, seeing that even that is a grace.
May we all be humbled in His presence call upon the only one that can deliver us from ourselves, the Lord Jesus Messiah. Amen.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Confession of the repentent

The bent of my heart is to conceal,but the desire of my heart is to confess. I am a liar; deceiver; one who lashes out in anger; one who is selfish and desires my pleasure above all. I have taken what was not mine, I guess that makes me a thief. My eyes lust for what is not mine and horded what I thought I could have all to my self. With all this coming forth from my mouth(hands), what remains is an empty shell of a person wanting the breath from heaven to give real life with nothing to boast of except The King of Heaven to accept and receive this sinful man and make me clean.
In Proverbs 28:13 is is written;"He that covers his sins shall not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes shall have mercy." This is the idea of concealing ones sins and trying to cover them up. It is for the one who confesses, that is, acknowledge in thought and in deed(repentance) toward G-d, coupled with belief in the Lord Jesus that there is salvation.
Romans 10:9-10;" ....that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that G-d raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation."
I must confess here as I try to get into Pauls head,that I am just trying to figure out what he meant by belief and confession. Is it the mental ascent of knowledge and just preferring some creed? Or is there more to this idea that has been lost in translation over the past 2000 years?
Paul through out the letter has been trying to get his readers to turn from pride and back to the one he preached, or to the one they had heard from someone else preaching. He appeals to the death of Jesus and his purpose, ultimately revealed in his resurrection, in hopes that it would cause the hearts of his readers to turn back in humility to their G-d. It is in the universal message that all men fall short of G-ds glory and through belief, that is, the message that pierces the heart and causes one to recognize G-ds greatness and our own falleness and thus thrusts us towards the message conveyed.
Following side by side, belief and confession clasp hands together and the relationship between G-d and man is restored. Like David relationship with G-d after his confrontation from Nathan the prophet; his joy of his salvation was restored, even though there were horrible reprocutions for his terrible actions.
Once again in Pauls' strong belief in Jesus as Messiah, the central part of his message, is putting faith into the Lord Jesus. This is his focal point, for all to turn back and to G-d though the power of the resurrection of Jesus.
I think it is important to comment on this part of Pauls' thinking here(at least it is for me). It is not just "believing in Jesus" to be saved that makes up the bulk of this letter or the gospel for that matter. The whole message, whether it is taught by the pen of Paul, James, Peter a message of explanation, proclamation, exhortation and invitation and exponentially to bow to the command of G-d himself.
"For with the heart one believes unto righteousness..."
Paul springs off of his use of Abrahams favor with G-d(chp.4) to make his point stand firm. It was Abraham believing the physically impossible to be possible with omnipotent G-d he had come to know. It is the believing in G-ds promises that this becomes a sweet smelling aroma of the sacrifice of what Abraham could not do. It is faith accompanied by the humility of confession that we place our disbelief, disillusionment, dashed dreams and hopes, our sinfulness and pride and lay them upon the alter of sacrifice to be burned. What is left after the sacrificing of these things is the wonderful gift of new life, new beliefs; perspectives; new hopes and dreams and a G-d that is pleased that you believe in Him and His Son.
This is the power of confession and the wonder of belief. It is not an easy believe-ism and it is not a belief that is prideful, but humble and willing to walk side by side with another. It the glory of faith and belief which allows us to never lift self up so as to overshadow another but step out of the way to lift up another so as to glorify the giver of all good.
Lord forgive me of my sin and accept my confession of my own pride which separates me from you who alone is worthy of boasting. Amen.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A little more Commentary

Continuing on with commenting on my views Romans 10.
Jesus' life was filled with obedience to Torah, but not with just obedience; with an applied sense of the principles of love for G-d through the Torah.
As far as my reading of the gospels, I have never found Jesus to be guilty of breaking or violating G-ds Torah. Jesus did however challenge certain views and practices. Jesus after all did not come to abolish the Torah, but to fulfill.
To expand a little on v.4 which reads;"For Christ is the goal of the Law for righteousness to everyone that believes .", is to say that Jesus exemplified, lived out and demonstrated the righteousness that G-d desired. He showed compassion for those that needed compassion; love when none else would demonstrate it; rebuke when someone needed to be corrected theologically or just in practice.
Paul uses the word "telos" for the word most often translated as the 'end' of the law. I think there is a word that conveys the thought much better here which I have already chosen to insert. Telos means full performance; perfect discharge; fulfillment; realization or goal; an end attained or a closing act.
The idea that is read through the N.T.; especially the gospels is that Jesus walked successfully the paradox of religious duty and a living faith; thus attaining the 'Telos"; the goal of full performance.
Thus if Jesus is being pointed out as the object in which one is to look to for example, he is and had become the one to reach for the goal of the righteousness for every one that believes. So Jesus being the fulfillment or goal is the blueprint for everyone. Paul wants all eyes toward his Messiah, G-ds message of salvation to prick the hears of every man and woman to come to in repentance and truly live the paradoxical life of faith and religion.
V.5-"For Moses writes about the righteousness which os of the law;"the man who does those things shall live by them."
At first glance between vv.5-6, he seems to be contrasting the Torah(law) and the idea of faith, but I suggest he is showing how they co-exist together. I want to take a look at the passage taken from Leviticus and then expound for further on the other verses Paul uses. This should greatly increase understanding for interpreting the next few verses.
Leviticus 18:5"You shall observe my decrees and my laws which man shall carry out and by which he shall live, I am the L-rd."
Now to grasp this passage is not difficult, it is to the Jewish community in observance of moral standards in intimacy. Following and observing is for the sake of life, or keeping semblance of standards in conduct. This is not unimportant in anyway, but Paul is setting up the birds eye view of what he believes is missing in the observant Jews perspective. He is saying, "Yes, you are as a Jew, obligated to the keeping of Torah, but......"
VV.6-8"But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, Do not say in your heart who will ascend into heaven?,( that is is to bring Christ down) or, who will descend into the abyss?(this is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? The word is near you, in your
mouth and in your heart"(that is, the word of faith which we preach):........".
This is probably Pauls strongest statements of devotion to Jesus as Messiah and is the missing element that he strongly holds as the missing link in all of this; it's faith.
For the best interpretation of this passage it would be best to read it from the original source from where it came; the quote is from Duet. 30:11-14. I am not going to write in the verses, because of the sake of space, but it reads differently than what Paul has written in his letter. This is what I'd like to look at and comment on.
To simply break down what was being spoken of in Duet., G-d is telling the Israelite s that all the commandments, statutes and the ways in which to walk when they go into the land is not out of reach for them. G-d says it is not hidden from them or distant; that is to say, not some esoteric or you to search after in some mystical posture of find under a rock in a distant place; its' right here. G-d then explains where it is not; it's not in heaven, where only some guru can claim that they have the secrets of G-d. Neither is ti beyond the sea for us so that only some may travel on a journey to obtain and bring back to the masses. After explaining where G-ds will is not , he simply says in v.14 ;"But the word is very near to you. It is in your mouth and in our heart, so that you can do it."
There are two categories which Paul illuminates with the reiteration of the verses with the insertion of his interpretation. In vv.6-8 Paul adds additional words to express the idea of Jesus into the equation;"who will ascend into heaven?(that is to bring Christ down) or who will descend into the abyss?( that is to bring Christ up from the dead)." Paul seems to take a little liberty here for the purpose of practicality in comprehension. Duet. 30:12-13 reads; "who shall ascend into heaven for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it? ....who will go over the sea for us and bring it to us, that we may hear and do it?"
The idea of the depth of the sea is here in Pauls usage of phrasing, and it is here to demonstrate that it is not neccasary for anyone to cross such depths to attain this action that G-d called them to do. Paul uses the word abusson, the abyss, meaning bottomless or the place of dead. His choice of phrasing has to be understood in light of bringing up Christ from the land of the dead. Paul has not changed the meaning of this, but has rather taken his readers to the edge of G-ds sovereignty. He is taking his audience to the pinnacle of G-ds knowledge so as to ground their arrogance and humble them in how all men and women approach the Holy.
Paul is stringing together a theological thread into which the weaves a tapestry of soteriological thought into how Jesus is Messiah not only for the Jew but also for the world. He begins to stitch the idea of covenant with "the word is near...". For this terminology is so closely tied to the Jewish faith, they would immediately adhere to and be attentive to respond.
"In your mouth..." This carries tremendous action; for it is the action of confessing. It is an action of confessing sins and an action of confessing Jesus, who is the catalyst for confession.
"and in your heart.." This is the essence of who we are and it is the souls response to something. In this case it is the response to a return to G-d and that is repentance through confession and it must be through the faculties of both mind and heart.
This is Pauls gospel message and he proclaims it loudly;"this is the word of faith which we preach.". This is where Paul and his message are most strongly felt, because he just clears the air of any esoteric meaning of attaining a relationship with G-d by using this biblical reference of reasoning. In other words there is no kind of secret, no amount of dance or ritualism that's involved and is quite simplistic yet very profound.
This keeps with the continuity of the entire letter, he again obliterates the idea of any room for boasting. The idea that someone could plumb the depths or climb into the heights more than another based on genealogy or background of sorts becomes absurd.

That is probably enough until tomorrow.
Just my final thoughts for today on these verses before I sign off. I am so grateful for the wisdom of G-d to offer me, a man of no reputable background, no sacred genealogy or works to which to boast would allow me the opportunity to confess the Savior of the world and come full circle which is inly of and by His grace. Amen and Bruch HaShem

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A little Commentary

I am doing something a little different today in my post than normal. I am more or less posting some of my own commentary on scripture. This is more or less done out of a response to hearing a message this weekend and commenting on the verses used in the message.
This is in no way an attack on the usage of the persons message, but my attempt at understanding the original rendering of the authors intent.
The passages used for the message was from Romans 10:14-15;"How then will they call in him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, 'How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!'".
Without going into what the spoke on or didn't speak on, I will just comment on the passage and come in with my own thoughts on the meaning. I will begin from the start of chp. 10.
"Brethren, my hearts desire and prayer to G-d for them is that they might be saved." V.1
This part of letter is of great importance in the context of understanding Pauls theology, and ideas on soteriology, Israel and the nations.
Paul goes to great lengths using texts from the prophets to make his statements authoritative. He quotes from Lev., Duet., Isaiah, Joel and Nahum. The quotations are not so much for the gentile hearers of the letter, but more for the Jewish audience, because it comes from their own writings, directed towards them.
The first question that I have to answer is, what is Pauls idea of salvation here? Based upon Pauls train of thought here, his use of scripture is the persuasive call to repentance toward G-d and away from their pride. His basis for his proclamation seems quite consistent also with the preaching of John the baptist and Jesus. It was a call for a true form of repentance, acts of righteousness, steeped in faith and trust in the G-d of Israel.
For Paul, salvation comes in the form not just of pronouncement, but comes in objectively in the person of Jesus the Messiah. In Pauls theology, Jesus was the living message that would turn all men back to G-d and making mankind righteous positionally before G-d and set them apart for fruitful work(Ephesians 2:10).
It was Pauls deepest desire to see his people turn back to G-d away from hypocrisy and what he saw as over ritualized ceremonies that kept his people complacent, distant and apathetic to G-d and also the social needs of society.
"For I bear witness to them that they have a zeal for G-d, but not according to full knowledge." V.2
Paul is more or less giving is kinsmen some credit here. He even gives them kudos for the zeal. They did have a zeal, but unfortunately, like most of us, our personal zeal can be directed wrongly, even with pure intentions. They got so caught up in the minutia of details and forgot to practice the commandment of loving our neighbor.
There is a principle soon forgotten with myself, especially when I am steeped in a diligent study, that of what I think is of so great importance, and don't feel the tug at my shirt from my own child wanting to acknowledge her new drawings. My interest in discovering truth has just been lost in the moment I miss this moment of G-d working in and through my daughter.
" For they being ignorant of G-ds righteousness and seeking to establish their own righteousness have not submitted to the righteousness of G-d."
Using the Greek of his day, Paul uses the word "agnoustes", where we get the word agnostic. Its basic meaning is without knowing, or not knowing. For the religious of Pauls day, it was because of a lack of not knowing what G-d truly desired of them. I guess it is easy to get caught up daily routines, rituals and to forget about G-ds righteousness. It is easy because for the human who is frail, forgetful and foolish a majority of the time, spends his days building systems, walls and barriers and fences to protect our self purity.
Paul knew this all to well; for he was at the time of him writing this letter until the day he was martyred, a Pharisee. This is not a negative thing however, but it can become a negative response when seeking ones own righteousness.
Religious life and faith almost seem paradoxical. We can lean so far into the essence of one and almost negate the other. Paul however, sees it the sense that "they have not submitted
to the righteousness of G-d.".
This Paul goes onto explain in V.4;"For Christ is the goal of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes.".
Paul use Jesus as the paradox of applied intertwining truth. If anything, we should let the life of Jesus as recorded in the gospels speak this truth.
This beautiful truth I will come back to tomorrow.
Until the next post, may G-d bless.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Incarnation of Light

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with G-d and the Word was G-d. He was in the beginning with G-d. All things were made through him and without him was not anything made that was made. In Him was life and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not comprehended it." John 1:1-5

This has got to be one of my favorite expressions of G-d; the incarnation of Jesus in human flesh. However difficult this may be to understand, and the insurmountable task in comprehension should not negate the investigation of this sublime action of G-d Almighty. This certainly moves me from the shallow puddles to the deepest oceans of who G-d is and how far His glory will shine so as to deliver the souls of men.
As I was starting this I knew I had to get a clear definition of incarnation. This is one of those words that I think we can become to familiar with and maybe sidestep its fullest meaning. The basic definition of incarnation means, embodied in flesh, or taking on flesh and refers to the conception and birth of a sentient(usually human)creature, who is the material manifestation of an entity, god or force whose original nature is immaterial.
I found it interesting that this idea plays out in different definitions from varied traditions and religious systems. The concepts can be found in the religious systems of Egyptian cults, Buddhism, Hinduism and Baha'i. However, for the purpose of this posting I would like to concentrate on the incarnation on the biblical and New Testament revelation. I think I will come back to the varied ideas in another post though.
The incarnational idea is wrapped up in the person of Jesus of Nazareth. G-ds light, truth and goodness coming into being within the barriers of time and space is rather staggering. The staggering part of this to me is that a G-d who is so beyond the scope of our small imaginations would actually want to come into our world. Why would a Holy G-d even care to want to invade the air space of our world and share the same blood soaked sod? This might be the most excellent opportunity to explore theology and find out if it is a waste of time or a worth while venture.
The statement in John chapter 1 is that the "Word was G-d", and that this "Word" contained life and this life was "the light of men.". Life and light takes on human form, wrapped in the same flesh as Its own creation. This light would shine in the darkness and ultimately the darkness of the world would not overcome it. Jesus, who humbled himself as a man although being in nature G-d, chose to step out from eternity into the imprisonment of flesh and blood. This is the mystery that everyone grapples with, because it is the mystery of the "true light" which "enlightens everyone."v.9. That is, everyone has some knowledge of the "light" of G-d simply because of the general knowledge of creation and conscience itself, but unfortunately we suppress that truth.
There is what I call one of the greatest pieces of existential lyrical pieces of the 80s performed by the artist Joan Osborn, it was called "What if G-d was one of us?" Here are some of the lyrics;" If G-d had a name what would it be? And would you call it to his face? IF you were faced with Him in all his glory what would you ask if you had one question? What if G-d was one of us?Just a slob like one of us? Just a stranger on a bus? Trying to make his way home?".
This is a person who was(is) really grappling with his/her own existence and that of G-ds. The question really is, if G-d really cares why not try this life out yourself?
I think this is the absolute beauty of the incarnating of Messiah; he did become a sojourner on this earth and was a stranger among brothers. He felt loneliness, pain and suffering. This is essential in trying to grasp hold of a reality of a G-d who cared enough to don wounded flesh and still try to speak and reason with, share and commune with a lost and hurting world.
The author of Hebrews expounded much on this, and here a couple of quotes from chp.2 of Hebrews; "For it was fitting that he, for whom and by whom all things exist, in bringing many sons to glory, should make the founder of their salvation perfect through suffering.........Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is the devil.......Therefore he had to be made like his brethren in every respect, so that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in the service of G-d........For he himself has suffered when tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.".
I believe that this piece of truth of the theology of light most exemplifies what light is. Jesus is light, the ever present light of G-d which is moving vibrantly in this world even today. Light is manifested through the healing touch to a crippled man, felt emotionally by families that had lost loved ones to the sting of death. The living light of G-d is demonstrated through a life touched by that of a salvation of a wonderful savior who took on all of the worst brutality, violence and slander that the world had to give. This light took on the darkness and vanquished it's power in the eternal scheme of things forever
G-d so loved the world he gave His Light!!!!!
May G-d be glorified in my body today and may His eternal Light, Jesus, be praised.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Phosforic Imagery Pt.2

"Bless the Lord O my soul! O Lord my G-d, you are very great! You are clothed with splendor and majesty, covering yourself with light as with a garment." Psalm 104:1-2

To dwell on the Holy One, the G-d of all that is, can do many things to a person. It can at times be comforting, other times frightening. Sometimes to dwell on the ideas, metaphors and hyperbole's and phrases borrowed only from what the physical eye takes in, becomes frustrating, mind boggling and aggravating.
This aggravation enters into the thinking of a person trying desperately to grasp hold of an invisible entity. It doesn't help realizing this entity has no form, physicality, flesh or blood. Deep within the soul of those who crave the Holy and even for those that do not, there is a gaping hole that wants so much to be filled in.
How do we relate to such a transcendent being? Can we find even a little satisfaction in a veiled understanding through mere words describing the indescribable? I guess if we don't try we will never understand.
There is a picture given from the verse read from Ps.104 that gives us quite the illustration of G-d that may help with our comprehension and G-d and the "light" imagery which was spoken of in Pt.1. The picture given is G-ds attire such as being clothed with majesty and splendor. There is such a poetic conveyance of words that must be understood as just that; a conveyance.
Obviously G-d is not sporting a suit jacket made of majesty or a pair of trousers made from the finest spun splendor with an overcoat of light. So what does it mean?
Taken from the Hebrew language, the words that express majesty and splendor is hod and hadar. Hod means majesty, authority and splendor carries overtones of superior authority and position. Hadar can mean nobility, glory, and often related to the appearance of an object of beauty and that which instills awe from the observer.
When we read the whole of Ps. 104 we understand better what and how all of this relates to The Blessed One. This particular Psalm relates creation of earth in its glorious beginning and even now in its sustanation. It is a psalm of The Lord in action. The psalmist continually uses words like "stretching";" laying out"; "making";"rebuking"; "causes grass to grow" and "he makes". It is a fantastic picture of G-d as the maker, sustainer and creator. His very own works dress up the G-d of the universe in His "manifold works"(v.24).
The apostle Paul in the N.T. Expresses this idea of the invisible G-d, clothed in his works and can be beheld by all peoples of the earth. Romans chapter 1:20 says this:"For His invisible attributes, namely His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, even since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.".
Do you ever wonder why it is that when we are faced with the colors of a brilliant sunset, majestic mountains, a vast ocean, the height of the trees of the Redwood Forest, or a rose, and we are filled with wonder?
In think in these moments of intimate enlightenment we are seeing the clothing of G-d. Everyday we are given the opportunity look upon G-ds best duds. We are given the chance to see beauty and creativity even amongst the chaos that surrounds us, or the chaos that we ourselves produce. It is by G-ds grace that we can still witness this glory through the ashes of sin.
This leads us to the L-rd donning light as a garment. I think we can borrow again from the imagery from Gen.1:3 which represents the ethereal light(non physical) which is the righteousness of G-d. This righteousness or light represents or displays what G-d is all about and it wraps around Him like a garment. The light in which he wraps himself in, is the emanating nature of His own self sustaining being, and this is His essence which is only that of doing righteousness. The putting on of light is the metaphor for that which is the brightest light of all, and out shines that of even out sun.
The garment of light is the essence of G-ds totality seen in His creative acts which go forth as rays of sun which cultivate, sustain and display the clothing of G-d. For G-d truly wraps himself with the works of His hands.
May you L-rd wrap us in your self, into the garment of your presence.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Not so well done

This morning I have come to the revelation of my self in the light of my makers eyes. It is however the view from my point of view.
I remember a quote from a movie between two characters as they talked about G-d, and the one stated;"G-d loves crazy people!", "why do you say that?" asks the other;"because He made so many of them.".
I read over and over in scriptures and also from the lives of others of how G-d loves them so much. It is a beautiful and marvelous thing to hear of someone coming into this knowledge of The G-d of the universe loves them so much. I love the story of Jesus' love for Peter even after the three denials.
The story of the woman caught in adultery is probably one of my favorite scenes of the love of Jesus towards a very lost, confused love seeking person. I can accept this scene for the woman and am thankful for her new life received by the forgiveness of her ways.
G-ds love is amazing, rich, deep and unfathomable. How else could one explain the emptying of Jesus as it says in Philippians 2:7-8;"but made himself nothing, taking in the form of a slave, being born in the likeness if men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross."?
Outside of the intellectual assent of these truths of G-d, I am finding it so difficult to accept this love for myself. I will gladly accept it for others and see, even in the worst of people how G-d could care and want to change and deliver them. I just cannot see it for myself how such a wonderful G-d can love, like or even want to be with me.
My greatest fear in this world which reaches into the next, is that I will stand before the G-d who made me and hear the fateful words to this unfaithful servant;"Not so well done, not so good and unfaithful servant." This idea absolutely is plaguing me from going forth in life other than the daily duties.
It has become my state of paralytic dysfunction. I want so much to do something beautiful for Jesus. I want to serve, teach, learn and grow, but it is my fear of disappoints that prevents me from making one more mistake. My mistakes must now stack as high to the throne of G-d.
Yes I know, everyone makes mistakes, but these are my mistakes and my mistakes have affected to many people.
So as I grapple with accepting this love gift from a benevolent G-d, the words come forth in a whisper from Psalm 103:2-5; "Bless the L-rd oh my soul, and forget not all His benefits, who forgives all your(my)iniquities , who heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like eagles."
Oh Lord help me accept your crazy wonderful love for me, Noel, a sinner who just wants to be with his Father in heaven and please him above all others. I hope and pray that I am one of those crazy people that G-d loves so much.