I may be rehashing some stuff that I’ve already mentioned in recent posts here but quite frankly this is all that’s been in my head for the last couple of weeks and pretty certain it’s worth going over again. I’m going to start with the big hit and then go from there…if there is anywhere to go from there. At the moment, this is the thing that’s hitting me for six every time I think about it.
Let’s start with John 1:1-5:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
And now for Acts 17:28:
“‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’”
And finally one of the most incredible passages in the Bible (in my opinion), Philippians 2:6-8:
“[Christ], being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage. Rather he made himself nothing by taking on the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness and, being found in appearance as a man he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.”
At the heart of Christianity lies what I believe to be an utterly remarkable truth and, simultaneously, an utterly unfathomable paradox. It is beautiful, stunning, and, in the most serious sense of the word, awesome.
Here’s what’s utterly remarkable: that God, who by his nature is existence (“I AM”), and whom we rely on for our own existence (as Acts 17:28 makes clear), considered us worth saving. We who have no intrinsic value beyond that which he himself gives to us. Us. Human beings. Our existence, or lack of, has no real bearing on God in terms of necessity and his own existence. This God, this astounding, unfathomable God, humbled himself. I don’t know about you, but I find it pretty hard to be humble about anything if I know I’ve done it well. God, who by his nature does everything well and has no faults, humbled himself far more than I suspect you or I have ever managed.
And then there’s the paradox involved in that. Somehow this man Jesus Christ was simultaneously fully God and fully human. Woah. In my limited knowledge of philosophy there’s a pretty fundamental clash right there between the infinite (God) and the finite (human). There’s the clash of different kinds of existences as I mentioned in the previous paragraph. In short, it’s a mindboggling paragraph. As a Christian, I join thinkers like Kierkegaard in looking at paradoxes like this and seeing a certain kind of odd beauty. Now I know that might be hard for non-believers to appreciate, but I do see this as a matter of faith. It’s the kind of thing that will be perceived in radically different ways depending on how you approach it. In my opinion, it simply adds to the majesty and wonder of God.
What’s the point to writing something like this? It’s not to prove anything. It’s not to make you believe something or even to try and change opinions on anything. It’s just something that I think is worth sharing because I find it so incredibly powerful. For me, things like this are at the heart of Christianity, and I can never do them justice, but I suppose that if I can share them like this in my own words, then there’s hopefully something good in there somewhere.