J. Edwards Quote: God is not Narsissus, we are.

narcissus“As God delights in his own beauty, he must necessarily delight in the creature’s holiness which is a conformity to and participation of it, as truly as (the) brightness of a jewel, held in the sun’s beams, is a participation or derivation of the sun.’”

– Jonathan Edwards (The End for which God Created the World)

Though it is a constant theme in Scripture, many Christians recoil when confronted with the idea of God’s Delighting in His Own beauty. We simply don’t like it. We want God to delight in us above all things. I want Him to be all about me – my world, my life, my concerns, my beauty, my standing, my reputation, my health. Me and me alone. What a shock it is to our system when we discover that God is all about God – first and foremost; that His desire to glorify Himself takes precedence over every other concern.

When we consider this, we immediately try to “humanize” the idea. Is God not arrogant? How could he demand so much attention without being guilty of selfishness.  We mumble inside our hearts, “God is just an attention hog, that’s what He is. Always demanding our love, demanding our devotion, demanding our worship. He’s just a big old baby!  And if we don’t give Him what He wants then He pouts and thinks about ways to smite us into oblivion.”

Continue reading

Ash Wednesday, Spiders, Jonathan Edwards, and the Glory of God in Small Things

boyspider“We hence see the exuberant goodness of the Creator, who hath not only provided for all the necessities, but also for the pleasure and recreation of all sorts of creatures, and even the insects and those that are most despicable.”

– Jonathan Edwards “Of Insects”

On this Ash Wednesday, as we begin the season of Lent, I would like to consider together with you the Grace of Christ that lurks in the nooks and crannies of our lives. On this somber day, for a moment, let’s allow the possibility that the Grace of Jesus is not wholly seen by our eyes; not fully heard by our ears; not truly understood in our perception. Grace is not often gaudy, but quiet, moving slowly and effortlessly within our hearts and in the world around us.

Continue reading