Daily thoughts on aesthetics and theology, and the entire world in between.

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The aesthetics of God the Invisible

To be successful in living a Christian life, you have to see the invisible.

This was the concluding point from Charley's sermon yesterday. He was talking about Moses: "By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible."

Charley pointed out that Moses had spent 40 years in the desert tending sheep. Nothing but the stars and the sand and the wailing of animals. The prospects for a fast-track career were not very high.

"You've got to slow down to speed up," Charley said. He meant that Moses, who as an ambitious young man had killed an Egyptian only to be reproved by his own people, had needed those 40 years in the desert -- to slow down -- before he could actually be used by God.

Slow down ... to speed up. It may take 40 years.

And through it all you've got to see God, who is invisible.

From the pew (well, for us it's folding chairs) I struggled with how, exactly, does one see God the Invisible. The desert I can see; that's a no-brainer.

But what are the aesthetics of God the Invisible?

As Charley spoke, he seemed older, more frail, than when I first met him 12 years ago. That wasn't 40 years ago, but 12 years is a long time too. I considered his wife and four sons. I know of the quality of their lives. Could Charley have given this message 12 years ago? Well, yes, but it would have been more theoretical.

I then considered Phil, his wife and family, sitting on the other side of the room. Twelve years ago Phil struck me as somewhat quirky (he is, after all, a fellow academic). Now he just seems dear. Phil prepares the music for worship each Sunday.

I considered John, who just the night before wrote an email that irritated me. But I looked at his family; they have the most well-behaved and solid kids I know.

I looked at Steve and Sally.

I looked at Dan, at Lyle and Kathy, at the Danielsons, at Jason and Emmy, at Tom, at Margaret.

There they were all sitting on those folding chairs.

And I got a glimpse of God the Invisible.


Hebrews 11.27 By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.


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