Sunday, June 13, 2010

"And the stars", or how the horizons of my ambitions changed

I used to think that God's glory was about being impressive. Genesis 1v16 says "and the stars" as what seems to be an after thought. I mean - wham bam. And there's nothing necessarily wrong with that.  In the last year the Triune God has been doing a work in me that I don't think is finished yet.  I'm now more inclined to think of God as the Triune God. God as personal and relational is key.

The gospel of Jesus Christ invites me to participate in their life, adopted as a son of the Father, with the church one flesh with the bridegroom the Son.With this, along with becoming a Dad, I see now the priority of relationships and community ahead of pretty much everything in life. And the key signifier in the Triune God is the Son whose life is one of love, love by dying. The greatest glory is humble service not shining showmanship.

Along with this move I've had my eyes open to look at the world differently -  know your creator more and you see creation more clearly - to see more like Jonathan Edwards' Images of Divine Things - and the stars help with that.
And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
God makes lights in the sky to mark signs, seasons, days & years, to give light to the earth. This is a temporary measure because in the new creation the Son will take the role of light-giver. In the mean time the lights in the heavens point towards him.

The Sun and Moon are signs of changing seasons, marking the turning of one day to the next - the repetition of which will testify about futility - but for now they show the order of time. And the sun like a bridegroom moving through the sky, east to west, as the Son does to bring his people into the Triune community. And the moon also, reflecting the light of the sun, ruling the night - so even in the night the darkness doesn't triumph.The light rules, the light wins - Jesus does. The evening appears to speak of the victory of darkness, and echoes the death of Jesus, but the night is not totally dark - for the moon shines - and the stars. In the morning comes resurrection - the rising of the sun, the chasing away of all darkness, processing again through the sky. His victory through his loving death for me, his rising to catch me up into his love.

The gospel reveals the Triune God by showing us the Son. In light of this gospel I see the world differently, as it really is - echoing the gospel of the Son who came to die for us his people, proclaiming his glory - singing of his cruciform love. Seeing God and his creation certainly shows my smallness compared to God, but more than that - I'm shown the love of God, and a call to lay down my life in love, as my Lord has for me. A big ambition and calling but not one that can really make sense to the world.


  1. I love the post! Very beautiful mix of the huge big picture, and the personal application - just like our Triune God!

    If I was being hyper-critical, I may wonder about the sentence "The gospel reveals the Triune God by showing us the Son, and it points us to look at his world and see him there also" which seems to imply there is a gospel apart from seeing the Son in the midst of this sinful world, taking our curse on his shoulders.

    I think I have a drum I want to keep beating at the moment about people glorying in the Trinity, but neglecting to mention our salvation (I don't really like Piper's phrase - God is the Gospel - although I like his point). We are brought into the divine life as you say - that means Christ on the cross for us has to be right at the heart of any revelation of the Triune God (cf. Revelation 5 - the Son is revealed, in fellowship with the Father, as the slain one - not any other way). Anyway, that is nit-picking.

    Thanks for the post.

  2. FWIW I agree with you. Need to be careful how to phrase things.

  3. Its only a blog, and I'm only one annoying commenter. I wouldn't worry too much.

  4. Yeah but words do matter! I've tried a re-phrase edit...