It’s all about truth.
Philosophers have worried and argued the great question that Pilate posed, “What is truth?” They have worried and argued for good reason. If there is no objective truth, we cannot function in our daily tasks.
For the most part we live depending on the truth of gravity (I take the stairs instead of jumping), the truth of movement (I see a car coming and I don’t walk into its path), the truth of sensory perception (I do not put my finger in the flame, I know wine tastes different from water, skunks do not smell nice). Granted they are general truths – there are degrees of scientific fact. But on the whole as human beings living in a physical world we assume certain truths to be basically true.
Yet we still worry and wonder about some things. Who is God? Does he exist?
I too wonder about some things. Will I ever control my need for chocolate? Will I ever be a size 8 again? Will my cats ever get along? More importantly, will I ever learn to really love as God means for us to love one another?
But for the most part I don’t wonder whether the sun will come up in the morning. Or the day turn into night. Not yet anyway.
I don’t worry or wonder about God so much, since I learned the historical truth of the resurrection of his son. I don’t worry about God’s existence, since Christ has confirmed not only his existence but his character, what he is like.
Some folks don’t want to know the truth about God. They prefer to follow their feelings rather than their reason, and I understand the temptation. Our culture offers may feeling-options in terms of God belief. “He is love and is inside us and all around us in the animals and the plants and and and and…” I wonder when I hear this if he is in cancer cells, or in deadly bacteria. Is he in floods and earthquakes too? Was he inside Hitler and Stalin and Lenin and Mao? Some folks say we are evolving to higher beings, full of God-ness. We ride a wheel of reincarnation, pulling ourselves up through the cosmos.
But since Christ, since God became Man and walked among us, we know these things are not true. It is true God is a God of love, for Christ shows us this in his life and his death for us. But God, as the God of Abraham (which we know he is because of Christ) is the Creator not the Creation. He is outside us, objectively real, objectively powerful, objectively burning with love for us. His spirit enters our hearts and minds and souls when we ask him in, when we are baptized, when we are confirmed, and each time we receive the Eucharist. This Holy Spirit communes with us in prayer. He loves us and wants to be with us constantly. But we must ask him, for love demands freedom.
Jesus Christ truly lived. He truly died. He truly rose from the dead. He truly claimed to be God, the God of Abraham, the God of each of us in this created order.
How do we know these truths and many others like them? They are all recorded on ancient scrolls and first-second century codices, which became today’s Bible. How do we trust the record, the recorders, the historical accuracy, i.e. its truth? We trust these histories because we have two thousand years of the Church, his organic Body, examining and interpreting.
The Church – its saints and theologians – are of course limited by their own human nature, but we are given enough of a picture of the reality and nature of God to order our lives reasonably. Like praying regularly. Like worshiping regularly. Like beginning and continuing that joyful journey with and into God with the sacraments and Holy Scripture.
I thought about these things as I prepared to submit my latest novel, The Magdalene Mystery, for publication which is essentially about the search for truth. I thought about these things too during the sermon this morning as the preacher spoke of the light of Christ showing us the way as the seas rage around us. And I thought about these things as I watched the Sunday School children open their new school year with a truly wonderful Ice Cream Social.
It was and is definitely true that hot fudge poured over ice cream is soooo good.