Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Shack

Church was canceled due to snow (snow! in Memphis! in March!) and I've learned something today. Or maybe I just realized something that I've known all along.

I'm at home all alone reading The Shack. My dad recommended it to me. He who doesn't read fiction as a rule told me it was a must-read. I'm only about a hundred pages in and this man has explained the Trinity in a way that makes so much sense I'm a little overwhelmed. Okay, a lot. I've been teaching Sunday School for about eight years now and I've taught the doctrine of the Trinity several times. Or tried to teach it. Try explaining to a group of second and third graders that God is one Spirit but three persons and watch their little faces as their brains try to reconcile that fact. How can I really teach something that I don't fully understand myself? Honestly, I don't think our puny, imperfect human minds can comprehend the ways of God. Maybe someday God will allow us to understand.

I've been crying, no weeping, for the last half hour as I try to come to terms with what I've just read. Jesus, though completely God and therefore completely free and all-powerful, chose to live as a human on a moment-to-moment basis. At any second he could have given up this wretched earth and returned to heaven but he chose to stay. For you and for me.

Speaking on the nature of Jesus, William Paul Young writes:
When we three spoke ourselves into human existence as the Son of God, we became fully human. We also chose to embrace all the limitations that this entailed. Even though we have always been present in this created universe, we now became flesh and blood. It would be like this bird, whose nature it is to fly, choosing only to walk and remain grounded. He doesn't stop being the bird, but it does alter his experience of life significantly.

Although by nature he is fully God, Jesus is fully human and lives as such. While never losing the innate ability to fly, he chooses moment-by-moment to remain grounded. That is why his name is Immanuel, God with us...Jesus is fully human. Although he is also fully God, he has never drawn upon his nature as God to do anything.

I'm not finished with this yet, not by a long shot. I'd recommend this book to anyone who's ever puzzled over the nature of God. You may just learn something.


Fashionista Yorkie Mom said...

Amazing. I cannot understand either why I was worth the life of the Son of God, why I was worth walking away from everything He wasw rightfully entitled to just to die for me. I agree 100%, we are not capable of understanding. But I am eternally grateful.

Woman in a Window said...

And yet while I'm not a textbook Christian, I can see the appeal of a book like this. It sounds like philosophy steeped in logic, even though the logic employed seems far beyond the human mind.

I like your passion here.

Octamom said...

William Young is scheduled to speak at our church in a couple of months--it should be really powerful--


Janet said...

This book is on my list - it was recommended by the husband of my friend who died recently. He said he and the kids all read it and were greatly comforted.

Retiredandcrazy said...

I must get this book Sarah. Whilst on the subject I should tell you about the inspired preacher that married OG and me in Guildford, Surrey, England. He now preaches in Canada.

In my opinion his sermons are even more inspirational and online at Ann xx