December 15, 2011

Dec. 15: God of mysteries

Isaac_Yoder-Schrock

By Isaac Yoder-Schrock, a senior physics major from Donnellson, Iowa
SCRIPTURE: Romans 16: 25-27 (NRSV)
Scroll down for complete Scripture.

DEVOTIONAL:
Those of us who live the North American lifestyle tend to live planned, non-mysterious and time-centric lives. Everything that matters can be easily explained and whatever cannot may be ignored or neglected. Often this even extends into our faith.

It is in the proclamation of Jesus Christ and his message in which Christians hold steadfast and find eternal salvation. Paul expresses this as the mystery that God revealed to the Gentiles, to bring about obedient faith in the one true God.

This is a solid foundation on which to build one’s faith.

God’s great mystery of eternal salvation through Jesus Christ has been revealed to us, though we must not become too comfortable in our faith. We cannot close our souls, minds and hearts to the Word of God, messages from the Holy Spirit, or to the many mysteries that yet surround us. We must find ways to engage the mystery of the natural world, or the mystery of purpose, the mystery of life, the mystery of why.

Prayer:

God, you have made known the great mystery to all: eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. Help us to live in the glory of Your revealed mystery. Let us take up an active, obedient faith as we engage and question the mysteries around us. Help us seek out the mysteries of Your world and our faith in You.

To the God of mysteries revealed and mysteries yet unknown be all the glory.
Mystery abounds around us.

Amen.

SCRIPTURE: Romans 16: 25-27 (NRSV)
25 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him– 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

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Comments (4)

  1. I always have to remind myself that my North American time/fact centric mindset doesn’t work here in Burkina Faso. Thanks for the reminder to search out the mysterious.

    Liz Lougheed December 15, 2011 |
  2. Hey Isaac,

    I really appreciated your reflection and its challenge to our American need for control and our cultural aversion to mystery.

    As a pastor who works really hard to read what is really in the books of the Bible, though, I ask you to consider your use of the term “eternal salvation” which I find to be also a mostly modern and liturgically developed theological error not so different from the one you challenge today. It seems to me that the first thing we need to remember about Jesus is that he was a Jew and for Jews salvation does not and has not ever really meant the sort of pie-in-the-sky-when-you-die happily, ever after idea that post-Nicene doctrine has both encouraged and eventually insisted upon. Anabaptists have long died challenging such ideas. What if we were to challenge this one today? What if embraced the sort of salvation that Jesus the Jew probably understood as the same sort of liberation that God has brought to Israel when he received his name after wrestling that angel? What if we taught and sought a salvation of the oppressed and downtrodden like the freedom that the Hebrews knew in the Exodus?

    Just a thought, and one you stirred up, so thank you.

    And peace to you – always – my brother.

    John Wierwille
    Pastoral Elder
    Berea Mennonite Church
    Atlanta, GA

    John Wierwille December 15, 2011 |
  3. Thanks, Isaac. I, too, think we are culturally limited and appreciate the encouragement to be more open to mystery. (btw, I also appreciate your reference to eternal salvation, and as a long time “convinced Mennonite” think that a whole view of salvation includes the things Pastor Wierwille mentioned, but also an (oft ignored by Anabaptists) understanding of the eternal impact of our faith. Well written and inspiring – thanks!

    Lisa December 15, 2011 |
  4. Leave it to a Physicist to capture perhaps the best desription of mystery that I have exerienced.

    Peter Kufeke December 15, 2011 |