EVER LOOK AT IT THIS WAY?

With finite minds, we cannot define infinity or eternity.  We’ll never be able to  do that.  But we can think.

As an exercise in thought, here’s something I’d like to suggest that you consider:  For a long time, scientists thought a molecule was the smallest particle in existence.  Research went a bit further, and we were taught that neutrons and protons and atoms were even smaller.  Nobody ever saw any of those things!  They were able to observe effects of their presence, but no one ever  actually saw an atom.  They can see what the wind does.  But no one has ever seen the wind.

Much of our knowledge about some scientific facts (astronomy, for example) is based on mathematical calculations.  That’s how some of the planets were discovered, and how other intergalactic objects (distant planets and stars) were located, identified, and tracked.  Before Albert Einstein, atoms were considered to be the smallest particle(?) in existence and his “Theory of Relativity” grew  out of the research of  a massive mind.  He was a theoretical physicist.  All his work was cranial.  It took place between his ears.  He never conducted actual physical experiments, but his thought experiments were the basis upon which theories were developed, the atom was split and the nuclear age emerged. And our world was changed dramatically, forever.

One of the practical results of Einstein’s thinking was that the atom, once considered the smallest, indivisible particle in the universe, was split!  Some disastrous consequences of that theoretical research were the atomic bomb, the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the birth of the nuclear age.  We have yet to see where that discovery may lead.

I simply cannot comprehend the enormity, mystery, and potential of some of the ideas which Newton, Einstsein, Hawking and others considered.  Nor can I, on the other hand, understand the profound and powerful statement John used when he spoke of the entrance of Jesus Christ into human history.  Here’s his version of the Nativity.  Here’s how he tells the Christmas event:

THE WORD WAS MADE FLESH AND DWELT AMONG US, AND WE BEHELD HIS GLORY, AS OF THE ONLY BEGOTTEN OF GOD, FULL OF GRACE AND TRUTH. (John 1:1 and following)

May I just ask you to ponder this statement further?   If such incredible power could be released from the ‘splitting of an atom,’ can we even begin to understand the reversal of such a process?  Can you imagine compressing eternity into time?  Not just turning loose all the stored up energy and power in a tiny atom, but getting all that colossal power compressed again into such a tiny space?

What John is trying to tell us is that the Son of God stooped to become a human being.  The Apostle Paul had his own way of tracing this great descent. A baby!  Asleep in an animal’s feed trough!

Eternity did not simply intersect time.  The glory of God, the living Word of God (Jesus Christ), the “only begotten Son of God” was funneled into that little infant, sleeping, gurgling. With dimpled elbows, arms and legs and all the jerky motions of a new-born, in the sleepy, but busy, little village of Bethlehem?  And the entire event was almost unnoticed out on the edges of nowhere in ancient days.

Can you imagine!   Really!

Can you even begin to  imagine????

Response: We don’t even know how to respond, because we have no idea what we’re trying to understand.  Awe.  Adoration. Jaw-dropping wonder.  Sheer amazement! Those seem to be the only appropriate responses.

One of baseball’s all-time great, colorful characters and catchers was Yogi Berra.  He worked some athletic magic with his catcher’s mitt and his bat, but he’s probably equally well known for his malapropisms, his mishandling of words.  No one could bungle words or mangle the language quite like Yogi. Like no other I’ve known, he could get his tange all tongueled up!  His expressions are the stuff of legends.  Even the ones in doubt are delightfully inappropriate.  When asked about the Napoleonic Era, they say he said:  “It shoulda been ruled a hit!”  And this:  “I never said all the things they said I said.” Or, “It looks like déjà vous all over again.”

Once on a rare occasion, he dropped a routine popped fly.  When he tried to explain what had happened, he commented:  “I musta nonchalanted it.”

We do things like that.  When in the presence of mystery and things that are eternal, we sometimes ‘drop the ball.’  We ‘non-chalant’ it.  We skim lightly over strong, heavy, profound words and scarcely grasp what they really mean.  Truth be told, we probably hardly even try to understand.

If even a tiny fragment of the Christmas story is true, the time to yawn and stretch Is gone!  “Ho-hum” is not a rational approach to such profoundly beautiful, wonderful concepts.

The  Bible says simply, plainly, that the Word…The Eternal Living Word of God…became flesh, just like us.  And lived among us.

As summer settles into autumn and we head toward winter and into the Christmas season. . . and before we get caught up in the red and green, insanely profit driven rush to make the cash registers ring . . . wouldn’t it be wise to pause and consider the real significance and wonder of the real meaning of Christmas?

God’s son and servant, your friend, brother, and fellow student,                                                                                                                                               ~donkimrey

“Wherever you go preach the Gospel.  And when necessary, use words.”  ~ St. Francis of Assissi.

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13 responses to “EVER LOOK AT IT THIS WAY?

  1. Good points, Don. Sometimes we are so used to hearing about the incarnation that we forget just how amazing it is.

  2. Got this nice note on my gmail from a friend, Mike Scott.

    Don, This was definitely food for thought. Well written enough that I did not skim but read every word. You have made some good points and if others read it, they may have reason to pause and evaluate their own beliefs and feelings. With God, Mike

  3. Don, thank you for visiting my site. You have a beautiful way with words. Peace to you always, Sharie

  4. Good post, Don. What comes to mind when reading your comments is how Albert Einstein, one of the smartest men ever in existence, processed primarily cranial -between his ears- as you put it. (smile) And of course we, of much lesser intelligence than Einstein, process the same way. However, we as Christians, have something that (perhaps) Einstein did not: the indwelling Holy Spirit, housed and rooted somewhere much deeper than merely between-our-ears: but within our hearts-and-souls. So when reading the Christmas Story and attempting to comprehend solely by cranial means: “the only begotten Son of God was funneled into that little infant, sleeping, gurgling, dimpled elbows, arms and legs in the jerky motions of a new-born, in the sleepy, but busy, little village of Bethlehem, almost unnoticed out on the edges of nowhere in ancient days..” ..I find it nearly to impossible to fathom, imagine or grasp. Ah… but when attempting to understand with assistance and through the eyes of the indwelling Holy Spirit, it becomes much easier to fathom, imagine and grasp! You asked the question, “Can you imagine?” No, I can’t – but what the mind cannot comprehend, the Holy Spirit can. (smile) And I love that.

    Thank you, as always, for encouraging me to dig deeper than I otherwise normally would and do. I love that about your writing. (And thank you, my friend, for permitting me to ramble!)

  5. Bonnie Mc Lawhorn

    I stand amazed, in a way,that you are able to explain in such depth,and put the birth of our Lord into such a perspective, so as to stimulate one to think so far beyond the box. For most of the years of my life, church and Christianity were a matter of attending service on Sunday and living a good life. I remember very well the night that I believe you got saved along with this friend. We were attending revival at Andrews Memorial church. You went on to become a Baptist minister and I a nurse. You continued in your quest for knowledge of the Word and I sorta let it go by the wayside, busy with all the things that life keeps one busy. I only accepted what I could understand in the KJV of the Bible and did not research meanings and intents. In a word, I remained ignorant until about five years ago when I became active with my present church. Now the more I learn the more I want to know.My biggest problem now is that I waited a little late and my memory is not what it used to be. I do so regret that, but have to be where I am. I so enjoy reading your writings and sharing your comments. You always were smart and have done so well in your walk with God. Keep up the good work. I am proud to call you “friend”.

  6. Bonnie –

    I found myself nodding my head in agreement with everything you said. I’ve kicked myself more than once for waiting so long in life to get serious about scripture- and God. But it’s never too late. God meets us right where we are! And regarding your memory not being what it used to ~mine too~ but I find that I understand and retain exactly what I need to when I pray for wisdom and understanding before reading scripture. 🙂

    It sounds like you’ve been friends with Don a lot longer than I have. But I’ve been blessed by his godly friendship/mentorship going on three years. And it came about precisely when I needed it most. 🙂

    So no looking back in regret! Just keep pressing on and seeking God’s heart, knowing that you are one of God’s Comeback Kids! 🙂

    I’m praying for you, Bonnie, and would sure appreciate your prayers. 🙂

    • What an nice surprise! Two of my friends, one among the oldest and the other among the newest…both from medical backgrounds. Hope you two will become friends as well. Of course, Bonnie knew me back when, so I’d prefer that she be very discreet in any information she discloses!

  7. Smiling as Don squirms.. Just kidding! I know she would have nothing to say but kind things. Just as I would. So not to worry, friend-of-our-hearts! 🙂

  8. Bonnie Mc Lawhorn

    On Facebook you see a lot of “lol”. Well, that is exactly what I am doing right now. My devilish nature says its so good to watch you squirm Don. I believe I did a little of that myself way back in the 50’s in school. Being a redhead with freckles and a temper, I got my share of teasing and some of it from you. But I do promise to be discreet.( My memory won’t let me be any other way!) Ebby, I would truly enjoy getting to know you. Feel free to e-mail me or message me on FB.

  9. Bonnie: Done. And thank you; it’s nice having you amongst my list-of-friends on Facebook. 🙂

  10. “The Bible says simply, plainly, that the Word…The Eternal Living Word of God…became flesh, just like us. And lived among us.”

    I have spent much of my thought life, lately, evangelizing to a muslim friend and every point of contention (friendly contention) comes down to this statement.

  11. Same thing with me and a Jewish friend, Cindy.

  12. Since we last communicated, I have spent quite a bit of time studying John 1:14. I have read several commentaries on the Scripture, and I focused on specific words from the Scripture. “The WORD became incarnate as the child of Mary.” You are correct about our finite minds, being barely able to scratch the surface of what this event actually encompasses! It has been a blessing to me, to embark upon this study. The mere fact that God Almighty, could take on sinful flesh, while not ceasing to be totally God, is in and of itself quite amazing!!! I have read this Scripture over and over again, throughout the years, but never have I focused on it, in this way. God bless you!

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