Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow, Snow Snow...

Here's a great meditation from the keyboard of Father Toby Larson in the midst of all the White Stuff:

“The LORD sends his command to the earth;
his word runs swiftly.
He spreads the snow like wool”
(Psalm 147:15-16)

“Snow like wool,” indeed, a blizzard of fleece! Shoveling, down time, family time, serving neighbors, good smells from the kitchen that might not have otherwise happened, and a whole lot of looking out the window to see who is there and doing what. God delights in reminding us that our times are not in our own hands, they are in his. He can change anything in a moment's notice, or without any notice at all, even give us the sense of looking into the "storehouses of his snow" (Job 38:22).
May I suggest we read and talk about Psalm 19 in the light of Jesus Christ. God is wonderfully generous in his self-disclosure. He has not revealed himself in a chintzy way, but in the grandness of nature, in his Word, by his Spirit, in great events in redemptive history, in institutions he ordained to make known his purposes and his nature, and in our own makeup as we share his image (imago Dei). Psalm 19 shows three of these thoroughfares of divine self-disclosure.

The first is nature, at least one part of it enjoyed by each of us. “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour fourth speech; night after night they display knowledge” (19:1-2). We can hear God in the silence of a snow storm. Any shadow of deep-seated philosophical commitment to the notion of random, purposeless, mindless, accidental, “steady-state” origination of things disappears under the light of God’s gracious disclosure. The patent conclusion for us is of a supremely intelligent God capable of spectacularly wonderful design. The evidence is here; the clouds and skies and the celestial host “pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” May we enjoy nature, as given by God, as part of his indescribably glorious revelation.

The second is “the law of the LORD.” Perfect, trustworthy, right, righteous, radiant, reviving the soul, pure, sure, making wise the simple, giving joy to the heart, enduring forever, more precious than gold, sweeter than honey, warning, promising great reward (19:7-11). From time to time God calls us to be quiet but may we never silence what he has revealed. Powerful minds tried to, and have wasted their lives working to undermine the credibility of what God has said. New epistemologies lesson God’s words to make them appear as no more revelatory than the root documents of any other religion. Still worse, Christians who bemoan a missed Super Bowl catch can themselves fail to watch carefully and take hold of the Word of God that he has graciously placed right into our hands. May we cling to God’s Word as his indescribably glorious revelation.
The third is conscience. "Who can discern his errors? Forgive my hidden faults. Keep your servant also from willful sins; may they not rule over me. Then will I be blameless, innocent of great transgression" (19:12-13). A well-functioning, Christ-informed conscience also bears pure witness to God's self-disclosure. And even as my family moved this week, 20 some pillows still a jumble, we remind ourselves of the mostly true saying that the "the softest pillow is a clean conscience."

The fourth is, and it goes without saying, but must be said, that in these last days, God has spoken to us, "by his Son, Jesus Christ, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom he made the universe" (Heb. 1:2)!

My dear new friends of Celebration Church, and longtime friends of Celebration, God’s design in nature has changed our weekly rhythm yet again, but let us respond with the psalmist together (in unison though separate): “May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer” (19:14).

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ,

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