2008/12/04

Towards the end of his letter, the writer of 2 Peter said something like this:

"Our good buddy Paul wrote to you about the things he knew. He does that in all his letters. Of course, some of what Paul says is hard to understand. Ignorant and unstable people do try real hard to understand, but they wind up twisting it all around and getting it wrong in the process. They do that to all the hard-to-understand parts of scripture. I am warning you, keep clear of those guys. But, for you, don't worry so much about always having the right answer or being able to understand the deep mysteries of God. Just concentrate on growing in grace, knowledge and understanding will come when you need them."

I like these verses (2Peter 3:14-17) because I think they are a pretty good vindication of our ambiguous Anglican ways. We are not, after all, people with answers.

I am not reading a lot of condemnation over the quest for understanding, or even that maddening desire some of us have to know everything. The writer is just saying that these people are unstable. We sometimes read "unstable" as "mentally unstable." But, that's just because we live in a world where it is socially acceptable to make fun of those unstable ones. those mentally ill ones. Those -- over there -- who are not like us.

Whatever. I don't think that's it.

I am thinking that the writer is talking about a different kind of instability. Maybe he is saying that the impetus to comprehend what is clearly ineffable comes from not being steady in some other ways.

And, actually, I think a lot of us are a little bit unsteady. We don't really believe that allowing ourselves to be loved is enough. It's hard to believe that we don't have any say in grace, or God, or our acceptability. It's easier to believe that if we wrestle with it enough we will, at long last, understand all the things of God and that will make us acceptable, lovable, and worthy.

We want to think that we have something to do with it.

But, we don't. Not really.

I think that one of the messages here is, "Look, of course there are lots of things you don't understand, and there are lots of things you can't know for sure. But, hey, just relax and enjoy the questions; sit back and let grace grow."

A relaxing day to you all; all you lovable, worthy, accepted ones!

3 comments:

FranIAm said...

Mmmmmm- I love this post and what it has to say.

And a new way to look at those words from Peter.

Thank you Lindy!

sharecropper said...

Yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous. - Shakespeare

I think it's the lean and hungry attitude that gets us in trouble with wanting the "right" answer.

Lindy said...

I think you are on to something ShareCropper.

I was at a thing the other night where part of the devotional included reading off a list of the fruits of the spirit. "Being Knowledgeable" was not on there. I do like knowing things. I just wonder if sometimes I don't like it too much. I sometimes use it as something to do instead of things I should do and I justify that by saying, "Well, it's about God..." Better to sit still for awhile and see if God is even in there.

But, I so want to avoid the lean and hungry thing. That's been the downfall of too many.