Tuesday, August 02, 2016

Shoemaker: consciousness of the chasm

Tuesday, August 2, 2016
    As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
    —John 9:1-3 (ESV)
    The situation in which we find ourselves in this world seems to be a condition of estrangement from God, with little feeling of contact with Him, yet a curious nostalgic feeling that somewhere He exists and that our life would be much more complete if we were in relationship with Him. The deep, seemingly indestructible awareness of something like homesickness for God is the natural basis for believing in some kind of “fall”—we seem to remember something better and to be possessed to recapture it. There appears to be a gap, a chasm, between God and us which must be crossed if we are to be in relationship with him. We know that our own wrongdoing can widen the chasm: we are not so sure what will close it. Yet our first great need is not for a set of rules about how to be good: it is for something to bridge that yawning canyon between us and the God we dimly seem to remember but cannot entirely forget.
    ... Samuel M. Shoemaker (1893-1963), The Experiment of Faith, New York: Harper, 1957, p. 10 (see the book)
    See also John 9:1-3; 2 Sam. 14:14; Ps. 58:3; Isa. 9:2; Matt. 11:5; John 11:4; 12:46
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I cannot bridge the gap. I cross the chasm by Your grace alone.
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