Lent 2013 – day 16

28 Feb

Psalm 139:5-6
You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.

Over these past 2 weeks, one recurring theme of my reflections has been on the fact that whilst we can understand how we describe God when we use words like infinite, everlasting, all knowing, omnipotent and so on, we cannot even begin to comprehend what they mean in practice because we do not live in a world where these words are in evidence.

Human beings are born, live and then pass away. Things like metal, which outlast human beings, will eventually rust or be worn away. Empires and nations may last generations but will eventually fall. Ideas last, until they are forgotten. Even mountains and seas do not remain the same, but are slowly changing as the Earth’s tectonic plates shift. And then there’s the Earth itself, which will eventually be consumed as the Sun goes nova. The universe will also end, either by expanding to breaking point or by contracting back to the singularity that many scientists believe it came from. No matter where we go in the world, people recognise that there are limits upon everything.

But what David has already discovered is that God has no limits as we understand them. And as soon as he realises what he has understood, he knows that he cannot truly understand it because it is beyond human understanding. It’s as though he takes a step back, hand on his head, and, in a surfer-dude voice, says “Woah!”

How often do we explore who God is to the point where we just sit back in awe and go no further? How often do we stand in His awesomeness and just bask in it? Understanding God is good but, as a someone once said, we are human BEings, not human DOings. We need to remember to live in the mystery and wonder of a God who is beyond our imagination, just as much as living in relationship with a God who came to Earth in human form, as a baby in a manger. God who is near, but also far beyond us.
Don’t put God in a box, because the God in a box is tame and boring. As Mr Beaver said of Aslan, “He’s not a tame lion”!

Search me, 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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