Divine Desperation
Friday of Pentecost 7
8 July 2016
God is so desperate to effect our reconciliation with Him that He sends His Son to accomplish the reconciliation. No matter what we see and experience on this fallen sphere, no matter how wicked the world becomes, no matter how violated we feel because of the lapping waves of the cesspool we live in and that lives in us, God has sent His own precious Son into the world to rescue us from the present evil age (Gal 1:4). God's sense of desperation is not a panic, as though He fears that His plan might not work. God will finally triumph over evil and there is no doubt about that.
 
Yet, God the Father has gone to full and extraordinary lengths to effect that triumph. His desperation is born of love of an overflowing power coming from His Father's heart. Earthly fathers will say it in regard to the needs of their own children, "Whatever it takes." How could the Father par excellence do less for his own children? How far has He gone to become reconciled to His rebellious sons and daughters? To what shocking lengths has our Father pushed Himself to save us who have not loved Him or His fatherly care for us? He has sent His only begotten Son, co-equal, co-eternal, and consubstantial with Himself. He has sent the Son of the same substance with the Father, who never rebelled, who always conformed to His Father's will, who was a completely and audaciously obedient Son.
 
So desperate was this God for our salvation that He sent no mere messenger, no mere creature no matter how great or glorious, no mere angel, no dervish-like prophet, no earthly leader, no mere stand-in, nor perfunctory substitute. He sent the One who became the bodily en-fleshment of the Wisdom of God, for that is who He is. He became the Word of God in the flesh (Jn 1:14), who was always the Word of God. God is not playing any games when He determines to save us poor sinners. He sends the A-team, His Son. Here is the certainty born of God's fully loving desperation: the Word made flesh. This trinitarian truth is not some philosophical blather, but it discloses to us sinners God's amazing, loving desperation for our sakes. It tells us who He sends.
Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Augustine of Hippo

"If the Son is said to be sent by the Father on this account, that the one is the Father, and the other the Son, this in no way prevents us from believing the Son is equal and consubstantial and co-eternal with the Father, and yet to have been sent as Son by the Father. Not because the one is greater, the other less; but because the one is Father, the other Son. The one is begetter, the other begotten. The one is He from whom He is who is sent; the other, He who is from Him who sends. For the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son.
 
"In this way, we can now understand that the Son is not only said to have been sent because 'the Word was made flesh' (Jn 1:14) but sent that the Word might be made flesh, and that He might perform through His bodily presence those things which were written; that is, that not only is He understood to have been sent as man, which the Word was made but the Word, too, was sent that it might be made man. He was not sent in respect to any inequality of power, or substance, or anything that in Him was not equal to the Father; but in respect to this, that the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son; for the Son is the Word of the Father, who is also called His Wisdom.
 
"When the fullness of time was come, Wisdom was sent (Gal 4:4), not to fill angels, nor to be an angel, except in so far as Wisdom announced the counsel of the Father, which was Wisdom's own also. Nor, again, was He sent to be with men or in men, for this too took place before, both in the fathers and in the prophets. But that the Word itself should be made flesh, that is, should be made man. In which future mystery, when revealed, was to be the salvation of those wise and holy men also, who, before He was born of the Virgin, were born of women; and in which, when done and made known, is the salvation of all who believe, and hope, and love. For this is 'the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit,seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory' (1Ti 3:16)."


Augustine, On the Trinity , 4.20
1 Timothy 3:14-4:5

I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of truth. Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit,seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
 
Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.  (ESV)
Prayer
Lord Christ, rescue us from despair by displaying to poor sinners like us the love of our Father for us. Extend Your wounded arms to surround us with Your bloodied bloodying embrace. Amen.
 
For all those who are deployed in combat zones with the military, that the Lord Jesus would give them the peace the surpasses human understanding
 
For good weather and the fruits of the earth, that we might be thankful to God for His bounty
 
For all physicians, that they might continue to presume that life is preferable to death and that helping is better than causing harm and be upheld in this noble profession
Art: Durer, Albrecht   The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 
Memorial Lutheran Church
smurray@mlchouston.org
http://www.mlchouston.org
©  Scott Murray 2016