Voce mea ad Dominum

Random thoughts from an amateur theologist.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The circle will be unbroken

I am the LORD, there is no other;
I form the light, and create the darkness,
I make well-being and create woe;
I, the LORD, do all these things.
Let justice descend, O heavens, like dew from above,
like gentle rain let the skies drop it down.
Let the earth open and salvation bud forth;
let justice also spring up!
I, the LORD, have created this.
- Isaiah 45:6c-8

Through Isaiah, God speaks not only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles, for the Gentiles worshipped a multitude of gods, and the Jews, the small band of people "hand picked" by God to make himself known, were apt to fall into the bad habits of their neighbors if they weren't careful (and many was the time that they weren't). Therefore, in the first place there is but one God and there is no other. In the second place, all that is, visible and invisible was created by him, and thus, he is in absolute control. Period. The end.

The concepts of justice and salvation flow from the fact that there is but one God. Justice takes a multitude of definitions, and quite often I will scratch my head and wonder just what does "justice" mean? I think simply put, justice is Truth, moral rightness. God alots to each of us what is rightfully ours, and since God is in control he knows what is best for each of us, and in his justice, he gives to each of us in fairness. Now, it doesn't always seem that way to us, and I will give an example of what I mean. I am privileged to know and work with a nurse who is absolutely one of the most delightful people I have ever met. She is the mother of a mentally retarded young man. As I was discussing the concept of God's justice with her today, she mentioned, "How is it fair and just to me that I have a retarded child?" In one of those moments of absolute clarity, the Holy Spirit led me to say, "What about justice for your son? Would you not say that your son's justice is such that God made you his mother?" She smiled and said, "I like the way you put it." You see, since there is but one God, and he is in absolute control, situations which make little sense to our limited minds take on a whole new dimension when we allow God to open our eyes to his justice.

As God's justice rains down from the heavens as dew or gentle showers upon the earth, so salvation will burst forth. Salvation is another one of those concepts that often has me scratching my head saying, "what does it all mean?!" I have been asked before "what are we being saved from?" That is a fair question, but I don't think it is only that we are saved from something, although that is part of it. Salvation is being freed from the bonds of sin which leads to spiritual death (in a sense, we are sort of saved from ourselves), but it is also sharing in the life of the triune God, so we are not only saved from something, but we are also saved for something, saved from sin and death for grace and life. This is a function of God's justice, for when we respond to God's justice, we are incorporated into the life which is God himself, we are saved. We become like God and therefore we are able to put his justice in action, which is why Isaiah says, "let justice also spring up!" Justice leads to salvation which leads to justice. It is a nice circle.

The ultimate justice of God is his Son, Jesus. He came down from heaven "like gentle showers" and taught us of God's goodness. The earth opened and salvation budded forth through the birth of the Church as a response to God's justice. Likewise justice now springs forth from the earth through the Church, the body of Christ. Now the last statement in the above passage from Isaiah, (I, the LORD, have created this.) kind of puzzled me because if Christ is God's ultimate justice, and we believe that Christ was begotten but not created, how could God have "created this?" So, I contemplated it for a while and realized, it all goes back to "God is in absolute control." It is not that God created Christ, rather God created the environment wherein his justice leads to salvation and subsequent justice. Therefore, by creating a means for fallen man to choose to share in the life of God, God's justice is revealed all over again, and the circle goes unbroken.

St. John of the Cross, pray for us.


Post a Comment

<< Home