Thursday, July 11, 2013

Over-Under-Around-and-Through

This is a post about Jesus.

More specifically, it is a post about Jesus as the incarnate Word of God.

This is mystery, no doubt.  The locutionary Word of God that spoke all things into being (without which noting was made that was made) became a human creature Himself.  This is far off and very deep, but it is the plain declaration of John 1, Paul, and Christ Himself, who claimed to be one with the Father.

The question, then: what are we to do when we encounter the Word?

Due to the presence in my home of a small child (mea culpa), I find myself reading many "prepositional books".  You know, like the inimitable Bears in the Night, and Bear Hunt, or 22 Bears (there is a common theme here, though I can't quite put my claw on it).  These cheerful books contain characters depicting a variety of phrases, typically prepositional ("out the window, down the tree, over the wall, under the bridge, around the lake, between the rocks, through the woods, up Spook Hill..." - Bears in the Night by Stan & Jan Berenstain, and I guess it took two of them to write that...). 

When we come to the Word of God in the historical, factual, brutally real person of Jesus Christ, what do we do? 

Do we stand over Him and declare "textual inconsistencies and grammar make you implausible, so you're probably mythic or projectional, good bye, perhaps you can apply for an opening as a prophet down the hall..."?

Do we go around Him, and excuse ourselves but "we really appreciate the work others say you did (see above), and you're really nice (not like some of your followers - I've got a bumper sticker, see), but what I'm after here today is religion and spirituality and that's where I'm headed, so I beg your pardon - or rather, I suppose I don't have to..."?

Or do we sit under Him, and beg earnestly for even the crumbs which fall from the children's table, knowing that it is better to be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell in the tents of wickedness, and a day in His courts is better than a thousand outside?

Do we go through Him to the heavenly country, knowing that He is the door of the sheep, and all who come over the wall are crooks, and we would much rather be with Him, better still, in Him, and be quiet sheep (an intentionally offensive picture then as now) content to graze where the shepherd puts us?

Our poor fallen postmodern world would have you believe that you can pick your preposition.  Sit under a text or over it, who cares but that you are engaging it!  Go through the system or around the system, we just reward those who get results!  Make your own place in the world, fill it with voices you love, and dwell there forever, in your cocoon of identity, never ruffled by so much as a breath of wind, much less that guy on a horse with a two-edged sword coming out of his mouth...  Turn up the music, maybe the rocks will fall on us.

But facts cannot be changed. You will be no-place else but under this Jesus.  No future does not go through Him.

But come now, when mercy may be found, not later, when justice alone has the field.  Today is the acceptable time, when you may look forward to His "Well done!", not the chilling command to "Depart, I never knew you".

We do not sit over the Word.  Let us sit under it, and approach God through Him.

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