How Vast Beyond All Measure

The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

In the darkness, look while most normal people slept, nurse we woke the family and went on an adventure. With coats thrown over our jammies, and blankets tucked around our knees, we drove out the grid-road until the lights of Caronport were far behind us.

There, at the crossroads of a dirt road and yet another dirt road, we parked the car, pulled out our lawn chairs, and sat out under the heavens.

We watched as the Perseid Shower sent meteors shooting across the sky.

We watched these “shooting stars” fall into the big dipper.

We watched little ones fade so quick we weren’t sure if our eyes were playing tricks on us.

We watched big bright ones, with large tales, streak slowly across the sky.

There is nothing like the prairie sky. It’s one of my favourite things about living out here. The horizon stretches for miles and miles, and you can’t help but feel very, very small. And that’s in the daytime.

And then at night, the stars hang so low you can almost touch them. The sky is not tainted by the lights of the big city. Even from our backyard, with the small lights of Caronport brightening the sky a little bit, the Big Dipper, Orion and other constellations can be seen throughout the year, bright as ever, constant and true against the blackness of the night.

If there is one word for this expansive sky, it is vast. It is vast beyond all measure. And as I sat out on the grid-road, my head leaning on the back of the lawnchair, I was reminded in that moment of the trueness and realness of God’s love.

How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure.

God’s love is vast like the prairie sky.

The stars that are too numerous to count, the blackness, and wideness and clearness of an August night out on a grid-road — how vast beyond all measure.

We are small in the vastness of the prairie sky. We are small in the vastness of God’s love.

The vastness can overwhelm, unsettle and cause us to tremble.

And yet, the vastness isn’t going anywhere. It isn’t going to change.

It will still be vast when we run inside to get away from it.

It will still be vast when we dance and rejoice under it.

It will still be vast when it makes us uncomfortable, and we cry out that it’s too much.

It will still be vast when clouds of pain and trial and confusion mar our vision.

It will still be vast when we stand in awe, drinking in as much of it as we can.

How deep the Father’s love for us, how vast beyond all measure. That He should give His only Son, to make a wretch His treasure…

I will not boast in anything, no gifts, no power, no wisdom. But I will boast in Jesus Christ, His death and resurrection…

Sunday Meditation

Let every faithful man and woman, generic when they have risen from sleep in the morning, before they touch any work at all, wash their hands and pray to God, and so go to their work. But if instruction in the word of God is given, each one should choose to go to that place, reckoning in his heart that it is God whom he hears in the instructor.

For he who prays in the church will be able to pass by the wickedness of the day. He who is pious should think it a great evil if he does not go to the place where instruction is given, and especially if he can read, or if a teacher comes. Let none of you be late in the church, the place where teaching is given.

Then it shall be given to the speaker to say that is useful to each one; you will hear things which you do not think of, and profit from things which the Holy Spirit will give you through the instructor. In this way your faith will be strengthened about the things you have heard. You will also be told in that place what you ought to do at home. Therefore let each one be diligent in coming to the church, the place where the holy Spirit flourishes. ~ Hippolytus, ‘Of the Time When One Ought To Pray’

Sunday Meditation

Holiness is not wholeness as the world understands it but faithfulness, illness perseverance in obedience. It means wholehearted dedication to the living God through service in his name. To aspire to holiness is to aspire to something other than a virtuous life or even a fulfilled life. What makes the holy person distinctive is not so much adherence to conventional moral standards as consecration to the Wholly Other, who stands in judgment over all human values and aspirations. Holiness excludes not only immorality but also mediocrity. It involves not only obedience to the law but also zeal for the faith.

The Christian life is characterized by passive sanctity and active holiness. The Holy Spirit secretly works sanctity within us; our task is to manifest this work of the Spirit in our everyday activities. We do not procure sanctity or holiness, but we can do works that reveal the holiness of Christ. We do not earn holiness, but we can demonstrate, celebrate and proclaim his holiness.

~Donald Bloesch, God the Almighty: Power, Wisdom, Holiness, Love, pg. 159.

Sunday Meditation

Deification is not simply a reflection on the historical role of Christ in the salvation of humankind, cialis as Christ’s soteriological presence in the process of the divine economy that impacts everyday human life. The process of reconciliation and glorification that was accomplished by Christ requires active human participation. It is a transformative experience that enables human beings to become not who Christ is but what he is. Thus, theosis is not merely another term for salvation or sanctification.

~ Vladimir Kharlamov

Sunday Meditation

Heavenly Adam, cure life divine, patient
Change my nature into Thine;
Move and spread throughout my soul,
Actuate and fill the whole;
Be it I no longer now
Living in the flesh, but Thou.

Holy Ghost, no more delay;
Come, and in thy temple stay;
Now thine inward witness bear,
Strong, and permanent and clear;
Spring of life, thyself impart,
Rise eternal in my heart.

~Charles Wesley

Sunday Meditation

Therefore, clinic he who has assumed Christ’s name—who is wisdom and power—and shares this name by reason of power, search fights valiantly against sin and will manifest wisdom in himself by choosing the good. When wisdom and power are manifested in us by choosing the good and by strengthening its perception, tadalafil the perfection of life is achieved as composed by these two elements. By thus understanding Christ as peace, we will manifest the true name of Christian if we show Christ in our life by his peace: he destroyed the enemy, as the Apostle says (Eph 2.14). Therefore, let none of us give life to this enemy in ourselves, but let us show his death in our lives.

Gregory of Nyssa, On Perfection.

Sunday Meditation

I repent of my past denial of hell or that a person could ever be eternally seperated from a holy God. I know now that I had no fear of God. Therefore, viagra I had no knowledge of God (Prov. 1:7). I was a fool with an MDiv…

Jesus has done far more abundantly than I could think or imagine in this place. He saved me. I know today that I am free, patient redeemed, prostate delivered, unchained. I know what it means to live at the cross and to walk in daily repentance. I know what it is to fear God and the joy of holiness. By God’s grace, what I thought 7 months ago was impossible and hilarious is now my testimony. That chains that bound me for decades are gone. The blood of Jesus has washed me clean! Hallelujah!

~ Chad Holtz
See the whole thing here, it’s powerful.

Sunday Meditation

“But for the searching and right understanding of the Scriptures there is need of a good life and a pure soul, viagra and for Christian virtue to guide the mind to grasp, troche so far as human nature can, capsule the truth concerning God the Word. One cannot possibly understand the teaching of the saints unless one has a pure mind and is trying to imitate their life…Similarly, anyone who wishes to understand the mind of the sacred writers must first cleanse his own life, and approach the saints by copying their deeds. Thus united to them in the fellowship of life, he will both understand the things revealed to them by God and, thenceforth escaping the peril that threatens sinners in the judgment, will recieve that which is laid up for the saints in the kingdom of heaven.”
Athanasius, On The Incarnation, pg. 96.

Noodling Around Thoughts On Grace

I keep noodling this idea of grace and transformation. I wrote a post a few weeks ago about not wanting to be “Just As I Am”. And this week I looked at the church’s slayer: grace. Over at RHE’s post on the conversation on the dialogue between churched and unchurched Christians, hospital I wrote this:

“Whenever I look at these conversations, purchase my first question is “where is the grace?” And by that I don’t mean tolerance. What I mean is where is the transforming power of the Holy Spirit? Too often people on both sides of the table set out with a “The other side needs me to change their mind, their convictions, their beliefs, their practices” when what we should be saying as we enter into the church is “Am I willing to let grace change me, and transform me? Am I willing to admit that I need to be transformed? Am I willing to allow grace to convict me and expose my blindspots?” Unfortunately it feels like we’ve exalted experience to the place of grace and made experience the authority that judges everything that does and should happen. (and this happens on both the churched and unchurched sides).”

And here a few more random thoughts that are bopping around in my head:

Our extending grace is done because God has first extended grace to us. The grace is not our own, it is the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit.
What happens when we receive grace? What happens when we extend grace? When we come in contact with grace the veil is pulled back, and we see the Holy Trinity dancing and working and rejoicing. This encounter with grace cannot leave us “just as we were”.
And I think that’s where I’m camping right now: Grace does not leave us unchanged.