A Mystery To Live By

Written by St Andrew on . Posted in Come and See

This space has its roots in the history of how this congregation came to be - a group of Jesus followers inviting others to come and see Christ as well.  Once a month, we will bring forth a devotional from years gone by.  Today we re-member (put together again in our minds) from the Lenten Devotional of 1989 - February 13th to be precise:

Lent is a season that places us squarely in the midst of the mystery of our faith.  In some sense, we are "caught" between the mystery of the incarnation and the mystery of the resurrection.  Jesus -- the Word become flesh -- reunites us with God through the cross and ultimately through the resurrection.  All of that is easy enough to say, but the mystery remains.  The birth, death, resurrection and the coming again of Christ are not events that are logically explicable.  Thank God!

How necessary it is to have mystery in our world!  We speak with confidence about the interior of atoms, and we eagerly elaborate on the 'causes' of the universe.  So much do we know, that it is worthwhile to keep Paul's words to the Corinthians in mind:  "Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?  For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe." (1 Corinthians 1:20-21 )  Paul with his usual rhetorical flourish has dismantled the case for wisdom and has propounded 'the folly of the cross.'  Since we cannot 'understand' this mystery, we are thrown back on the grace of God through Jesus Christ.  Luther's words, drawn from Romans, echo in my mind:  "We are justified by faith alone." No works of wisdom, or reason or logic can help us here -- only "the folly of the cross."

In a culture where everything must be earned, we all come with equal poverty before the crucified Christ.  The mystery engulfs us all whether we are Jew or Greek, slave or free, male or female.  As we share in his death, so too do we share in his resurrection and ultimately in his coming in final glory.  Thank God for mystery!

~Tom Smith (Young Tom)