Saturday, 17 September 2011

Unwrapping the mystery

"Great is the mystery"
1 Timothy 3:16

At its heart, Christianity is all about matters, which, even when they are plain before our eyes, remain so profound, they actually remain, at least to us, unexplained. Such realities seek to tell us that however hard we look, there are secrets at the heart of existence which we barely comprehend - marvels that are meant to lead us to a place of awe. As creatures intended to truly acknowledge and revel in such splendour, once perceived, we can then use our gifts and lives to magnify the profound nature of such truths.

The Apostle Paul certainly knew the height and depth of this in his own life. In his writings, he speaks of several of the deepest mysteries which surround and encompass all things. To mention a few -

The mystery of God's work of Redemption (Romans)
The mystery of Life (Resurrection) after death (Corinthians)
The mystery of God's goodness triumphing in a realm scarred by evil (Ephesians)
The mystery of Christ's incarnation (1 Timothy)

Underpinning all of these, is the mystery of the nature of God Himself (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) and the manner this is expressed to creation in love, especially in Jesus Christ.
When we begin to reflect on the nature of such mystery in the manner Paul encourages us to do, we quickly move from our lack of comprehension to a position of sheer wonder, which no doubt will become the essential character of all actions and culture in the renewed creation.

To some people, talking about 'mystery' as an ultimate reality seems nonsensical... Life is all about 'sensible' things that we can define and measure and predict, but is it? How much of what you and I will do today which we consider 'natural' is actually predictable - do you really know what will occur in the next few minutes? - and how much larger does that ignorance become when we seek to open the essential nature of reality itself and peek inside? Looking hard at such things can be very sobering indeed!

What Christianity teaches is that through the days of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and on to the nativity itself, God has been at work amongst the nations of humanity to express and convey the profound 'weight' of the mystery we are engaged with, and when we stand in silence and contemplate it's greatness, we can no longer escape its pull or the richness of its embrace. Like one consumed, body and soul, in the passion of a lover, the tide of this everlasting ocean will have us, ravish us, in life, death, and resurrection. It is a truth, a love, that envelopes everyone and everything, which never ceases to call, to desire, to overwhelm, so may our twisted, broken lives not fear or hate such a calling, but become consumed by the deepest beauty.

God points us to the 'fixed point' of Jesus Christ to evidence the revelation of the wonder at the heart of all things. If we truly comprehend the mystery that He unlocks, all of life will be rich indeed.