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Posts Tagged ‘beginning’

Austin Farrer was the Warden of Keble College, Oxford from 1960-68.  This humble and yet profoundly imaginative disciple of Christ employed a myriad of gorgeous metaphors for encapsulating hard theological concepts in such a way that he left an imprint on one’s mind for the topics he was speaking on.

Farrer reflects in his sermon, Always Beginning, that:

“scientists have given us the impression that they have taken over the job of God” and that God is therefore impotent and a “nice thing” to think about from time time when your bored.  But the truth is that when we consider new evidences for the immensity of the universe, and science itself, and what it reveals to us, we are more baffled than previous generations. Take a moment right now, and look at the new Hubble space images and ask yourself while viewing them, “what is God up to?” “why do I exist at all?” “How can it be that a universe can allow for self-awareness/conscience at all?”  The axiom, “the more we know, the more we see we don’t” actually rings so true.  Ecclesiastes’ remarks that “God has put the world in men’s minds, so that man is baffled to find out the work God has done first and last–and the more world He has thrown us, the more baffled we are.  Even more, Farrer says, “God has put God into our minds, and therefore we are always beginning and always on the verge of possession.”   Science itself, with its endless specializations and realms of specific knowledge about certain aspects of things, tries to master that domain, and stake a claim to it, as if there was no more to be learned from that field of study–only to be humbly faced with the reality that there are deeper layers with vast, unknown vistas, that are just beyond our reach.

“God has put God into our minds.”  “God himself is all of piece,” Farrer states, and that “one cannot take pieces from God and master him bit by bit.”  This seems true in our own spiritual journey’s as well, in that, we never seem to have made an assured beginning. Even the most celebrated saints like Mother Teresa would say that looking back with thankful amazement of what God has done through her, that she would at the same time say that she was as far as ever from laying hold on God.  Bless you dear Teresa.

Jesus had his heart set on the Kingdom of His Abba Father–that God’s infinite goodness should infinitely prevail in all things.  There are many who profess the Christian name. Some Christians see themselves as having already “arrived”  and out of arrogance and  false presumption of having seen into the magnificent spaces of the grandeur of God look at this world,  and God’s people, with eyes of vicious judgement and sanctimony.  While others, are secret agnostics who take the name Christian, but do not believe in the heavenly hope that Christ has promised to us all.  Farrer says that  the people with the latter perspective say to themselves, “there may be a bonus after death–only better not count on it.”  Christianity cannot survive the amputation of such a limb as the life to come.  Again Farrer says, “FOR GOD HAS PUT INFINITY INTO OUR MINDS, and if we cannot stretch out for him beyond the little beginnings we are allowed, then we must let go of God and loose Him wholly. For we can only have God, if God has us–and if he will not make a job of us and bring us to union with his glorious infinity, how can we believe that he has taken hold of us all? What is our salvation, but that we are in the hands of God?”

It seems this life is always a beginning, and because of the infinity of God, heaven is always a beginning–indeed, which for those that have firmly and courageously begun.  Anything that we have experienced in this life as being lovely or good, always increases our desire for the delight to which it points and leads us on–as we walk the way we are drawn into the very thought and action of God.

Jesus says, “behold I make all things new.”  Be sure of this, there is no coming to the end of God; the more we know of Him and His ways and the way he delights in us, the many more avenues will emerge for God to continue to reveal Himself to us.  It is Christ’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom, as God the Father gave it to Jesus.  We must be patient as God shapes us by His providence through our failures, presumptions and arrogance.  God’s agenda is about beginnings and never endings.   Just as, “God in the beginning, created out of nothing,” God in Christ is wanting to create and and develop a people who are bound by this logic of beginnings, and to be claimed by this singular promise of being reconciled to God by the death and resurrection of Jesus, and that by faith in His grace, in which we stand, we too, can know our own beginning as it unfolds in Him.

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