Put this question to the ages

There is a moment in the Bible when Moses is astonished by what has been happening. He stands back and says, “Put this question to the ages that are past.

Was there ever a word so majestic, from one end of heaven to the other? Did ever a people hear the voice of the living God and remain alive?” It is a moment of amazement, a moment of discovery in the ancient search for meaning. Humankind had proposed all sorts of deities and religions in their desire to reach beyond the concrete data of ordinary life, but none had satisfied them.

Then suddenly Moses senses a breakthrough. God is alive and has advanced towards his people with a desire to build a personal relationship with them. Moses can’t get over it.

Pope Francis visited Korea recently and while everyone was trying to see him and get close to him, a little boy who had a mental disability put his finger in this mouth and resolutely looked the other way. Francis noticed him, came towards him and gently removed his finger from his mouth and put his own finger in his own mouth and smiled at him. The little boy gaped at him and smiled. Everyone saw it. The TVs captured it. It was a breakthrough.

A lady I know agreed with her husband some years ago that they would go their separate ways. Neither of them entered into a new relationship and each got on with her or his life. Then a moment came when the encumbrances, that had kept them apart, fell away and they looked at each other in a new way and began to re-approach one another. It was another breakthrough.

The spice of life is really about these moments, when we move from where we are to somewhere new. Even Jesus did it. It was when the centurion said, “Do not trouble to come to my house! Just say the word. I have people under me, and I say to one, ‘do this thing and he does it.’” Jesus was astonished. “Nowhere in Israel have I found faith like this.”

This Sunday the Church celebrates the Trinity. Our secular world has some idea what Christmas and Holy Week are about. But the Trinity? I doubt if they give it a thought. But for Christians this is a celebration of breakthrough. For millennia humans have wondered about the deity but now God has made himself known to us.

The implication has to be that there are all sorts of breakthroughs waiting to happen. Our world has need of them.

Post published in: Faith

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