09 Dec Joyful Expectation | December 9
In my college days, the pastor of my church had graduate degrees in both Divinity and Engineering. I thought he was a real nerd. I went on to receive graduate degrees in both Divinity and Engineering.
Therefore, I’ve spent much of my life studying and pondering truths physical and metaphysical, scientific and spiritual, natural and supernatural. It has created in me a fair amount of cognitive dissonance.
I’ve read a lot of books, written by Christians smarter than me, whose purpose was to ease or even erase that tension, to defend the rationality of our faith. And yet Paul, when recommending the gospel to the sophisticated and proud Corinthian congregation, did not assert its philosophical superiority, nor its internal logical consistency, nor its historical trustworthiness, nor its aesthetic beauty. He embraced its foolishness.
1 Cor 1:21-24
For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not come to know God, God was well-pleased through the foolishness of the message preached to save those who believe. For indeed Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom; but we preach Christ crucified, to Jews a stumbling block and to Gentiles foolishness, but to those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
I have little patience for the sinister form of anti-intellectualism I find in some corners of the Church, where stubborn denial of demonstrable fact is mistaken for great faith and obedience. Yet I have built my entire worldview around the irrational and unprovable assertion that a dead Israelite was resurrected thousands of years ago. Each Sunday I joyfully proclaim my belief in the nonsensical notions that God is three and also one and inhabits a human body.
There are times when I find all of it rather absurd, rather embarrassing, rather foolish. I hold on, I suppose, for the same reasons we all do. Because there are other times when, out of the corner of my eye, I get a glimpse of a shadow of something transcendent. The veil between heaven and earth parts ever so slightly and briefly and offers me a tantalizing taste of eternity. Yes, it is hard to explain, but it is impossible to explain away.
I ache with anticipation for the day when my questions will be answered, and my curiosity will be satisfied, and my foolishness will be proven wise. Until then, I believe and I doubt. I trust and I question. I confess and I deny. I praise and I curse. I hope and I despair. And I wait.
1 Cor 13:9-10, 12
For we know in part and we prophesy in part; but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away… For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known.
by Greg Meyer
This post is part of a series of Advent Reflections – “Joyful Expectation”
Learn more about the series at gslcwi.com/advent