Sunday, November 30, 2014

Fire in the Kitchen!

It seemed perfectly reasonable to me. I was 3 years old, watching my mother burn the feathers off the chicken. She had the burner on, flame high, as she ran the chicken wings through the fire on a pair tongs. Then she left the room....

Naturally, I picked up a piece of paper towel and decided to take the fire off the stove. To my surprise, even though I had taken some fire from the stove onto my paper towel, the fire was still on the stove! So I pondered this, then dropped the fire on the floor, until Mom rounded the corner, extinguished the flames, and beat my little butt.

I was reminded of this favorite childhood story (favorite because I was the child, not the horrified mom) as I read:

 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, - Hebrews 1:3

I've always looked at this passage theologically, but today God invited me to see it as so much more. Just as so many of us  puzzle about how Jesus could be God and the Father still be God, I had questioned the ability of fire to come from its source, be separated, but still of the same substance. How can fire be in my hand and on the stove? How can God be here on earth as Jesus and God still be on the Throne in Heaven? (let alone the Holy Spirit!)

My near tragic mishap holds the key: as the 'exact representation of His being' Jesus and the Father have to be of the same substance (i.e. fire). To be the radiance of God's glory, Jesus has to burn with the same brightness, purity, holiness, majesty, fire and beauty as the Godhead He came from, and He does. He is God - the same 'substance' or essence. He is also of the substance of human flesh. That's remarkable.

And -  The Holy Spirit within me is that very flame Who also descended from the Father. The very substance of God lives in ME. (Holy fireballs!) So I really can do all things through Christ who strengthens me because Christ, via the Holy Spirit - who is God- lives in me and I have access to all his power and all his strength and wisdom.

I don't have to have things all wrapped up in a bow. While I don't call everything I don't understand "mystery", I join with the apostle Paul and believers throughout the ages who have understood enough to marvel at the majestic paradox of the omnipresent God, our Father; Jesus Christ, God-with-us; and the Spirit, God-in-us.

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