Sunday, April 15, 2012

The New Doctrine

"Perhaps you have read that when King David and his soldiers were hungry, they entered the temple and ate from the holy bread normally reserved for the priests. This was an act clearly forbidden by the religious laws. And yet, if you were an observer of the Hebrew laws, you would know that on the Sabbath days the priests that work in the temple desecrate the Sabbath by their labor, yet are counted blameless.
Are there not more important things than the laws of the temple? Understand then, the meaning of the scripture, "I prefer mercy to sacrifice.” By so doing, you will cease from your condemnation of the guiltless. The Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath day."

My wife and I had one of those moments of intense and heated total mis-comprehension of each other's meaning! It is in moments like that when my faith is built up: I believe in grace, we didn't kill each other!

Later after tempers had cooled, sitting by the warmth of the fireplace, a truth began to dawn on me and I said to her, "Isn't it funny how we think we understand something when really we only understand the outside of it. It may take an entire lifetime to get the meaning of a thing, perhaps into eternity."

Here's an issue we struggled with tonight: trust. I used this example: because of her work schedule (and other factors) the "lion's share" of the daily care of our horses falls on me. I do most of the hay hauling, fence building, feeding, watering, and maintenance. Yesterday was her day off from work and during those days she checks on the well-being of the animals. In a moment she was able to determine a malady resulting from uneven watering (wintertime is hard on water maintenance!) The way she communicates things she is gifted in makes me feel, at times, like a nincompoop. She doesn't realize that, of course, and doesn't intend to ridicule me; I know she is grateful for the things I do, she just wants the best for the horses.

I realized then that I do the same thing to her in the things I am gifted in. But more than that, in areas I don't think she is as gifted, say, in spiritual things, I don't necessarily trust her in certain situations. That more than anything is what we pick up on from each other in barely discernible vibrations of language. A new layer of meaning to trust was added to my understanding from a difficult and painful experience! She needs to trust that I really am doing the best I can (and probably capable of) and I need to trust the same for her.

Jesus said that forever He would be our Teacher. He teaches us the meaning of things. We really have a very small portion of the things He said on earth. And yet we have more than enough to learn the meaning of over the course of a lifetime, perhaps even into eternity about the things that are vital to our humanity. Listen to these words from MacDonald about the One from whom we learn:

"I ask you to think how much God must know of which we know nothing. Think what an abyss of truth was our Lord, out of whose divine darkness, through that revealing countenance, that uplifting voice, those hands whose tenderness has made us great, broke all holy radiations of human significance. Think of his understanding, imagination, heart, in which lay the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. Must he not have known, felt, imagined, rejoiced in things that would not be told in human words, could not be understood by human hearts? Was he not always bringing forth out of the light inaccessible? Was not his very human form a veil hung over the face of the truth that, even in part by dimming the effulgence of the glory, it might reveal? What could be conveyed must be thus conveyed: an infinite More must lie behind. And even of those things that might be partially revealed to men, could he talk to his Father and talk to his disciples in altogether the same forms, in altogether the same words? Would what he said to God on the mountain-tops, in the dim twilight or the gray dawn, never be such that his disciples could have understood it no more than the people, when the voice of God spoke to him from heaven, could distinguish that voice from the inarticulate thunderings of the element?"--Unspoken Sermons I, The Temptation in the Wilderness

Jesus has invited us to understand the meaning of things that are hidden only in Him. See in each day His work of teaching you the richness of His words! Richness of words that enrich all of life!