Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Jesus--Very God

 Thoughts on Hebrews
Hebrews 1:8 and following distinguish Jesus from the angels, but it does so much more. It shows us who Jesus truly is. He is God.

God the Father says of Jesus: “Your throne, O God, will last for ever and ever…(vs. 8).

Verse 10 the Father declares Jesus the Creator who “laid the foundations of the earth.” And even though the world will change, Jesus will “remain the same” (vs. 12).

Then chapter 1 closes with another distinction between angels and Jesus. Whereas the angels are ministering spirits, Jesus sits at the Father’s right hand.

n some mystery the united Godhead seems to have split in some inexplicable way at the incarnation. Verse 5 expresses that the Father and Son are separate, yet they also remain the same. Jesus, “the exact representation of [God’s] being. The rest of chapter one focuses on Jesus and who He is—nothing like an angel, but the very Son of God—the Creator at the beginning of time. Who but God could it be attributed that he “laid the foundations of the earth” and created the heavens and all that is in them. At some point, all creation will change, but Jesus will never change. He cannot—for He is God and sits at the right hand of the Father.

Separate yet one. It is certainly a mystery.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The God of Winter

Now, anyone who knows me can affirm that I’m a summer girl. I relish the days of cool morning walks and warm afternoons. I love sliding into the day without essays and lesson plans, clutter and (sometimes) sassiness. I love planning trips, growing flowers, chatting with my children and grandkids, and hanging out with Jay. Summer is everything nice.

But, then there’s winter. I grew up in the northern Midwest, but somehow, I never acquired an appreciation for cold and snow—the drab and windswept days of winter. I thought myself clever when I’d stuff a pair of mittens and a hat in the top of my marching band Shako to pull out once in the stands to keep myself somewhat warm as we watched our high school football games.

I prefer winter to extend just through Christmas and then I’d be fine with warm sunny skies and tulips blooming in January. But, although I’ve traded the gray Midwestern skies for Colorado sunshine, winter tends to extend well into what ought to be spring. (Case in point, we had a snow day last year during May finals.)

I must, though, admit that winter gets a bad rap. Literature tends to equate winter with harshness, despair, and death. In the symbolism of the seasons, winter isn’t where most literary characters want to find themselves.

Yet, we do. At times in our life, we do find ourselves in winter regardless the temperature outside. Winter is where bad things happen. And, “there’s the rub” as Shakespeare would say. Who is this God of winter? Why can’t it be summer all the time? What happens when things go awry? Is anyone in control here? Is God sometimes sleeping as Thomas Hardy postulates in Tess of the d’Ubervilles?

The answer we, as Christians, know is no. But, just because there is purpose and design in suffering from small irritants to life-debilitating circumstances doesn’t make it easy to bear. It is true that I should look on the positive more often. It’s true that there is much to be grateful for. Yet, honestly, I don’t always live there. My first thoughts often are not thankfulness. Those are things I have to remind myself of. They do not come naturally for me. And, I’m guessing they don’t come naturally for most of us.

Perhaps that is the why? for winter—to realize that the God of winter is still God after all.