Saturday, 05 November 2011
Tonight I walked around one of my sacred spaces and smoked my [tobacco] pipe. As I stood there, surrounded by the evergreen trees my home state derives it's second name from I couldn't help but meet God. When I first arrived in this place there were clouds in the sky. At the same time, I was able to see a vast array of stars in the cold night's canopy shining brightly though they were far from my eyes. As I walked, smoked, and prayed time slowly passed. However, it didn't seem long until I looked up and noticed the clouds had left the sky and made their way to the trees. A little while later the trees were swallowed up completely by the clouds which had come down low. The clouds came so low that they met the grass of the field in which I stood. The world around me, for all I could see, was consumed with the low sitting clouds. At this point I suppose we call it fog. The lights of the street and neighboring homes made it look as though the air was littered with roses or perhaps even set on fire. I could have sworn I heard music and voices singing. It was beautiful.
This is what God does. He comes down from the heavens, into our world, consuming all in the most beautiful of ways. He leaves the distant shining stars to occupy our world, even coming beneath the trees to walk with us in the fields and meeting us in our neighborhoods. He sets us on fire in the most wondrous of ways with his light. This is the picture of Jesus Christ. Though the names are many the God is one. Though He be fog He is also cloud. Though He be of Heaven He belong also to earth. This is what the incarnation is; God becoming man. What was high came to be low. Faster than rain or light, and in a far more mysterious manner God decided to descend into our midst and transform our world. He settled with us and communed with us whilst we walked, smoked, and prayed.
Though it is a bit early for Advent I can't help but be immersed in the loveliness of the incarnation. I can't help but be in awe of the God who loved us so dearly that even as we filled our lungs with smoke and our world with rebellion that he entered into everything we know. He became a human child, entering the world as we all do, naked and through a woman's body. He lived on the earth, enduring what we endure, suffering with us, and then suffering because of us, for us. But like the clouds he did not stay low but rather rose back up from the ground, defeating death and sin, and ascending back up into the heavens, to sit at the right hand of our Father. In this incarnation, death, resurrection, and ascension he put within us a hope for our own victory over sin and death and our own future resurrection in which we will sit in glory with our Triune God. Though we toil and shiver we look forward to when the world encounters the judgment which is like fire, either refining or burning us, we look forward to a renewed earth in which we shall forever be with God.
All of this; the clouds, the trees, the smoke, the music, the neighborhoods, the fields, the lights, the fire, the incarnation of God himself, the coming judgment, and the present victory which he shares with us and invites us into is because of his great and unending love. It can not be measured. It can not be earned. But it can be seen and entered into. It can be praised and presently consuming. It can infiltrate the clouds, the trees, the smoke, the music, the neighborhoods, the fields, the lights, and most of all ourselves. This is the love of God; that he came down and is taking us up. And it is beautiful.
Have you ever felt the gravity of God coming down to Earth? How have you experienced the love of God this week?