Tuesday, March 12, 2013

A Hint at The Shadow of Our Creator

When someone upsets us, why do we never say, "Confucius damn you!"?

How come when somebody stubs their toe they never shout, "Oh, Buddha!"

Why is it when someone receives a shocking revelation they don't cry, "Mohamed!"

But have you ever noticed in some form or other we do carelessly exclaim one of the forms of the Holy Name of God without thinking. I have never heard someone use their mother's name when they get angry at someone or are surprised by some news they have just heard. And just why is that? Perhaps our immediate, unthinking reflex is just a hint of our connection to our Creator.

St. Augustine once wrote, "Our hearts are restless until they rest in thee."  Even when people live in a world that has directed their attention to other gods or ultimate concerns, the first name they exclaim is a form of the Name of God of the Bible. After all, He is one who formed us. (Gen. 2:7) Sure we have fallen away. But our first grandparents knew Him directly understanding that they were created by His own hand and breath. We are related to God, made in His image. (Gen. 1:27) So an unthinking reflex from our heart, a heart God created, will look to Him. Unfortunately, this is not justification for taking the Lord's name in vain. In fact, it is the very reason for The Third Commandment, "Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his Name in vain." (Ex. 20:7) We need The Law to remind us of our fallen nature. (Rm. 3:20) And we need The Law to be our measure of obedience as we submit to the guiding of our Advocate, The Holy Spirit. (Jn 16:7-11) And it reminds us of the curse we are under. (Gal. 3:10-14) A curse that Jesus took upon Himself as He paid our debt to the Law at Calvary. (Jn. 19:30)

Think about it. If we do not use our parents' name in vain, why sould we use our Creator's Name in vain? After all, it is written,

What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for

“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’

 Being then God's offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Acts 17:23-31)