How long, O Lord? How long will you bear with this perverse and wicked generation? We continually fill the cup of our iniquities attacking the image of God both within ourselves and in the stranger and exile who come to us for compassion. We have made it a sport, how depraved can we be? Our leaders fight one another to be inhumane, fight to demonise and dehumanise those that need a voice. O Lord, when? Take our rain, take our prosperity, build our character instead that we may be wealthy there. Our representation of you both as individuals and as a nation does you no justice, Lord contend for your Holy Name. Discipline us that we might no longer be a stench among the nations. Contend, contend for your Name, we have failed you.
Be Holy as your Father in Heaven is Holy ((Matt 5:48 cf. Leviticus 11:44-45; Leviticus 19:2; Leviticus 20:7)), God is love. ((1 John 4:8)) These two ideas of God sometimes seem irreconcilable, in fact some would say that they are juxtaposed so as to be an incoherent description of who God is. Taken from the two extremes ends of God’s graphe self-revelation they meet together in his logos self-revelation. ((graphe and logos are both Greek for ‘word’ however they are differentiated in their use in the New Testament to talk of the Scriptures and Christ respectively))
The Apostle Paul says concerning this logos revelation; “Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” And “We preach Christ crucified,” ((1 Cor 1:20–23)) what greatness is here? Why Paul extols God’s wisdom in his logos, that word that embodies both God’s transcendent Holiness and His condescending Love. As he says in another place;”though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a slave,” ((Philippians 2:6–7)) what does Paul mean by “In very form God” except that in Holiness he was as God, in being he was as God, that everything that could be ascribed to God was his and could be said of him, for it is also said of Christ; “He is the image of the invisible God,” ((Col 1:15)) and “He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature.” ((Heb 1:3)) Now what did Paul mean by “he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave,” he lowered himself, he came down, this is why Paul says this demonstrates the humility of Christ, he came down from his lofty place eschewing the Glory that was rightfully his coming to us. But why did Christ come? From his own lips we hear; “I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” ((Jn 10:10))
The abundant life is seen manifest in Christ’s relationship with the Father and Christ himself invites us back to this relationship saying; “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:” ((Ps 22:22)) What’s that you say? “Is not his holiness so great that he cannot call us brothers?” By no means! We can be assured that those whom he sanctifies and he who sanctifies have one source, ((Heb 2:11)) for those whom he has justified he has sanctified. ((Rom 8:30)) My family we do dwell in the love that is Christ’s for this is how great that love is; while we were yet sinners Christ died for us ((Rom 5:8)) and in his dying for us he became sin though he knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God. ((2 Cor 5:17))
Oh the Wisdom of God! br>
His very act of love br>
By which he condescended to that accursed tree br>
To die the death of sin wrought in me. br>
That Wisdom of God br>
His love transcending br>
Perfecting his Holiness.
What is there before me? br>
God’s Holiness Victorious br>
His Love Outrageous br>
And Wisdom Glorious br>
That Tree upon which my God accursed for me.