Sunday, September 16, 2012

We are the late-comers slipping into creation's choir...

"The creature has no voice of its own. It does not point to its own picture. It echoes and reflects the glory of the Lord. It does this in its heights and its depths, its happiness and its misery. The angels do it (and unfortunately we have almost completely forgotten that we are surrounded by the angels as crown witnesses to the divine glory). But even the smallest creatures do it too. They do it along with us or without us. They do it also against us to shame us and instruct us. They do it because they cannot help doing it. They would not and could not exist unless first and last and properly they did this and only this. And when man accepts again his destiny in Jesus Christ in the promise and faith of the future revelation of his participation in God's glory as it is already given Him here and now, he is only like a late-comer slipping shamefacedly into creation's choir in heaven and earth, which has never ceased its praise, but merely suffered and sighed, as it still does, that in inconceivable folly and ingratitude its living center man does not hear its voice, its response, its echoing of the divine glory, or rather hears it in a completely perverted way, and refuses to co-operate in the jubilation which surrounds him. This is the sin of man which is judged and forgiven in Jesus Christ, which God himself has made good and cast behind man's back. It is this which in Jesus Christ has once for all become his past. In the eternal glory before us it will not exist at all even as the past. In the eternity before us the groaning of creation will cease, and man too will live in his determination to be the reflection and echo of God and therefore the witness to the divine glory that reaches over to him, rejoicing with the God who Himself has eternal joy and Himself is eternal joy."

-- Karl Barth

(Note, I have read very little of Barth, and am not endorsing his overall theology, or view of revelation, but in this quote I thought he wrote compellingly concerning Scriptural themes.)

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