Friday, June 11, 2010

Homily 6: On God's Destruction (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"...thou hast broken us..., O restore us again. Thou hast made the earth to tremble; thou hast broken it. Heal the breaches thereof...." Ps. 60:1-2

"...I wound, and I heal; neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand." Deut. 32:39b

Herein is the God that we cannot stand. The God that we call terrible names in the silent dark or the empty daylight. The God that causes our soul to shake and our faith to tremble. The God of the horror of great darkness. The God of St. John of the Cross rather than Lady Julian. The God whose ways we defend by either ignorance or dilution. The God whose defense brings shame: God the Judge, God the Breaker, God the Destroyer. God the Healer is easy to believe in and easier still to defend. God the Righteous, full of wrath against Sin and all who are with it, has caused many to turn back and follow Him no more. Will you also turn away?

"Thou hast shown thy people hard things" (Ps. 60:3). There is always a tension between the God that we want and the God who is. If we want a relationship with God, then we must understand that it will be with the God who is: the God who does and allows hard things. All things will work together for good (Rom. 8:28), but that includes hard things. The world is infected with a cancer from within; it needs a surgeon's cutting knife, not a therapist's pleasing words. So He cuts the flesh, He breaks the bone, and we wonder where it is all leading. We are currently on the wrong side of the tapestry; its pattern is half understood (I Cor. 13:9). One man's exodus is another man's plague, and yet God is sovereign over it all, working out the great masterwork of redemption. Our God breaks. He heals what He breaks (if it wants healing), but He breaks. Remember whom you worship: the God who wounds as well as heals and all for good, all for redemption.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2010

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