Theology Thursday with the Tuesday Prude

 

DSC01007 - Version 2Almost any post title with “theology” is almost guaranteed to NOT entice readers.
What’s the opposite of ‘clickbait?’

Personally, I like theology. The study of God?
Awesome.

This past week a minor health scare, the loss of dear ones and a newly-noticed line in an old favorite song culminated in some theological thoughts.

***
The 60’s are a dangerous age.
Not the 1960’s, (although it had its perils).
Being in one’s 60’s though, is tough.
On one hand we are grateful to have reached an age denied most people in the history of the world.
But it came up so fast! Our bodies are doing strange things.
Some of us fall gravely ill.
And too many of us die.

In the past 18 months I’ve lost a dear friend and a sweet cousin, both barely in their 60’s.
Facebook friends have passed into eternity even as I’ve been praying for their healing.

Almost all these were people of faith, who, the closer they got to the end of their earthly lives,
anticipated more and more their heavenly ones.

But it’s hard to imagine being eager to leave this world for the next.
I know this world.
So many people I love are here.
It is my current home.
I know this place.
One Christmas song you’ll seldom hear piped over the grocery store speakers is “Thou Who Wast Rich Beyond All Splendor.”
It continues
“…all for love’s sake becamest poor.
thrones for a manger didst surrender
sapphire-paved court for stable floor.”

Sunday at church we sang the heart-expanding, mind-blowing, breath-taking, love-infusing
“And Can it Be (That I Should Gain)”
I always cry at verse 4, when my chains fall off and my heart is free.

This week though, one line in verse 3 (that I’ve probably sung 200 times) jumped the gun, flagged me down, and demanded attention.

“He left his Father’s throne above,
So free, so infinite His grace;
Emptied Himself of all but love…”

This astonishing truth—one I’ve skimmed over in anticipation of the prison pardon in the next verse— lilts out the same theme
in that underrated Christmas song.
The Savior’s experience was
the opposite of ours. He came down to where we are so we can go up to the Home He left.

Many of us down here, with one foot too firmly in the world we know, aren’t eager to leave it
any sooner than necessary.
Be it ever so humble (hate-torn, contentious, polluted, with devils filled…)
there’s still no place like the home we know.

And there is the Son, in the Home up There. The Home He knew, loved, created, where He lived in perfect harmony with the Father and Spirit, rich beyond all splendor.
And He left it willingly.
Knowing the humility He’d endure in a hate-torn, contentious, with-devils-filled world—
He came into it.
To a place opposite of His Home
and a human race opposite of Him.

All for love’s sake.

SONY DSC

Someday, unless Christ returns, we’ll all leave this home we know for the Home we don’t,
and it is probably natural to be apprehensive, to hold off that day by whatever means God gives us.

But the reason we can go to that new forever Home,
the one our Savior left so willingly,
is all because of
Love.