Pondering for Monday, May 8, 2023

Daily Office Readings for Monday of the 5th Week in Easter: Year 1

Morning,  Psalms 56 and 57,  Evening,  Psalms 64 and 65;
Wisdom 9:1, 7 to 18Colossians (3:18 to 4:1), 2 to 18Luke 7:36 to 50

“Who has learned your counsel, unless you have given wisdom and sent your holy spirit from on high?” (Wisdom 9:17)

While attending a Systematic Theology class at Virginia Theological Seminary we received a lecture on St. Thomas Aquinas.  St Thomas Aquinas wrote volumes on the proofs of God and of the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

On this occasion, as the lecture was closing, I noticed several students making their way towards the instructor.  I followed on the chance that I might learn something. I heard from the Systematic Theology teacher that all of the volumes of St Thomas could not compare with one small glimmer of revelation from the Holy Spirit of God. This was a powerful moment for me. I realized that God can and will give us a revelation that we, or at least I, would not be able to put into words.

In our life search for God, it is not our job to “figure God out.”  No, we must only believe in God and create a space within our souls for God to gift us with revelation.   “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, it is so high that I cannot attain to it.” (Psalm 139)  Not only that, Anselm (Arch Bishop (April 21 1109), says that we should be faith seeking understanding. He says we must first believe in order that we might later understand.  Also, another deep thinking contemporary theologian says, “It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery.  God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.” These are the words of Kallistos Ware. All of these points to the human need to ponder about the mystery of God.

Many denominations want to first understand the scriptures in order that they might then believe. I think this is putting the cart before the horse.  But even after our Lord Jesus had taught his disciples all about the Law of Moses and the Prophets they couldn’t understand. It was not until the Resurrected Jesus opened their minds; “Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,” (Luke 24:45).  We can’t understand God without God. We must learn to pray for help.

While I disagree with much of our Colossians readings for today, I will agree with the instruction to pray at the beginning of chapter 4. The writer says to, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:1)

Please keep up your thoughts and prayers and hopes for Ukraine, Russia, Sudan, South Sudan and our schools.

As we listen to what the Spirit of God is saying to us, let us live to love and serve, and to teach others to love and serve, while pondering anew what the Almighty can do. John

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