The Ocean of God's Glory
There’s this story of the early church father, Augustine, and he was taking a walk along the beach, and he was getting stuck in his mind as he was trying to meditate on God. And as he’s walking, he sees a boy playing with a shell, splashing around on the shore, and so he asks the boy what he was doing? And the boy says that he’s putting the ocean inside his shell. And Augustine keeps walking and realizes that’s what he’s doing as he was meditating and thinking about God. He was trying to fit the ocean of the infinite knowledge of God into the small shell of his mind.
God gave us our minds and wants us to use it, and yet God isn’t asking that we have it all figured out when we turn from ourselves and our sins and trust in Jesus. Everyone believes in light. But how many of us have figured out how light can be both a wave and a particle, at the same time. But we can still believe in light because in and through the light we can see and make sense of the world around us.
At the heart of the Bible is God redeeming humanity back into relationship with himself. And this redemption is woven across all of Scripture. And the climax of this redemption is in Jesus at the cross. Jesus died in our place so that we can die to our sin and Jesus rose from the dead so that we can find newness of life in him.
Our mind’s capacity is just a small shell to the infinite ocean of the knowledge and glory of God, but God would not want us to be just sitting on the sand just looking at the immensity of the ocean and saying, its too much. He would want us to be like that kid that Augustine saw, who is on the shore, enjoying the water, splashing around and trying to put the ocean inside his shell.
God wants us to enjoy him in all of life through what he has done for us in Jesus as revealed through his Word so that as we obey him, and trust him, we are also enjoying him and finding ultimate satisfaction for our souls as we continue to comprehend him more and more.
Prayer of Confession
We come before you knowing that you are the judge of all the earth, that you are just in all your ways and yet we also come before you knowing that you are rich in mercy. That your steadfast love knows no end. Help us to love you and love others well. Help us to follow you even as we continue to comprehend who you are. Give us the grace to continue to know your Word and treasure it in our hearts. Give us satisfaction in you, to be able to delight in you. Give us the sight to see Jesus for who he really is. Help us to examine ourselves for we know that you are faithful and just to forgive us of all sin, and so we confess our individual sins to you now in this silence.…
Father, you are the ultimate source of joy. And you find your ultimate joy in your son, Jesus, the one who gave himself for us. He was rejected so we can be welcomed. He was forsaken, so we would never be abandoned. He chose death so we can be alive, he was found guilty so we can be found innocent, he tasted wrath so we can taste mercy and grace. He was humiliated, but now he is exalted. Father, you take our sin and because your Son’s blood you forgive us and clean us. We thank you, by your Spirit and in Jesus name. Amen.