Lent 2013 – day 5

17 Feb

Psalm 139:13-16
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your bookbefore one of them came to be.

This passage causes a paradox. On the one hand I completely understand that God knows me intimately, has done from before my existence and will do so to the end of my life. But on the other hand it is so incomprehensible it can almost sound absurd when read.
Such is the fun of existing as a linear (living from one point in time to the next) being with an ability to think abstractly!

But then, it is no more weird and paradoxical as what we regularly say in church:
“Great is the mystery of faith. Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come again.”

When we say this we are declaring that Christ existed, still exists and will continue to exist. Grammatically it is a nonsense. For us humans, we are born, we live and then we cease to be. And so, whilst we can use out imagination and think abstractly about this sort of thing, in the end it still doesn’t make proper sense. Such is the mystery of faith!

And so, returning to the verses of today’s meditation, we find the mystery of an eternal God knowing us so intimately as to know us right down to the molecules that make us up. And we know that He made us, either through the view that He directly influences each creation of a human being or through the fact that He set everything in motion and so, even though He may be not directly involved in each individual creation He still started off this repeating process that we are a part of. And yet alongside this creating and knowing us intimately He has given us free will to choose the way that we live our life, even though God knows how it will turn out before we have chosen it.
As I said, great is the mystery of faith!

Search me, O God, and know my heart;test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me,and lead me in the way everlasting.


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Archbishop Cranmer

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