Something Old

5 Mar

[This is a post from my old blog. I wrote it a few years ago, but lately I’ve been thinking about the concepts behind it, so I thought I’d share it here.]

Christmas is rapidly approaching, and this year, I find myself thinking a lot about the doctrine of the Incarnation of Jesus. I’d never really thought about how miraculous it is that GOD became one of us.

I’ve been reading the memoir Girl Meets God, and at one point Lauren, the author, talks about the value the Incarnation holds for her. This is what she has to say:

“Here is the thing about God. He is so big and perfect that we really can’t understand Him. We can’t possess Him, or apprehend Him. Moses learned this when he climbed up Mount Sinai and saw that the radiance of God’s face would burn him up should he gaze upon it directly. But God so wants to be in relationship with us that He makes Himself small, smaller than He really is, smaller and more humble than His infinite, perfect self, so that we might be able to get to Him, a little bit.”

I love being worshipped. Lately I’ve really been struggling with seeking praise and glory for myself. And when I really, really want people to notice me, I make sure to make myself seem bigger (metaphorically speaking, of course) than I am. I set myself on a pedestal so that the world can see how great I am. I play up all of my good qualities and hide all of the bad ones.

The thing about GOD is, He doesn’t do that. At all. And He’s actually worthy of worship. But rather than loudly demanding that we worship Him, He quietly (but fervently) reminds us of His glory in (seemingly) small ways…like when He sent His Son to the earth as a baby, and not as a great and glorious knight in shining armor.

GOD is flawless, so it’s not like He has anything to hide. He’s only goodness, only greatness. GOD blows the competition away when it comes to beauty, goodness, intelligence, and pretty much any other admirable quality. He’s the ultimate expression of wonderfulness, because He’s the original model for wonderfulness.

Lately I’ve started to think of GOD like I do the Mona Lisa. Everyone has seen a copy of the Mona Lisa. Everyone recognizes her subtle smile. Everyone postulates about who she was. But most of us have never actually seen the original Mona Lisa. We’ve seen copies in books or stores.

And sometimes when someone sees a copy of the Mona Lisa, he or she is drawn to the real thing. They travel to the Louvre, where they see the real deal and utter the famous expression, “It’s smaller than I expected.”

Here is what I think: GOD’s people are a lot like the copies of the Mona Lisa that we’ve all seen floating around. We’re a copy of His beauty, but we still don’t compare at all to the real deal. Rather, we exist to remind people of the real deal. We exist so that when people see us, they don’t worship us, but rather are drawn to the LORD. They seek Him out, and when they see Him they exclaim, “He’s bigger than I expected.”

It would be ridiculous for a person to try to sell a copy of the Mona Lisa as if it were the original painting. That person would be labeled as a fraud. So who are we as followers of GOD to try to sell ourselves as if we were the real treasure? Who am I, that I think I can put myself on a pedestal when really the only good things about me are from the LORD and aren’t of my own doing?

We are so finite. We have such a limited ability to comprehend GOD. But He knows that and understands that (in fact, He created us that way), so rather than demanding that we try to wrap our minds around Him in His vastness, He’s given us the Incarnation, so that we can begin to grasp Him and His glory.

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5 Responses to “Something Old”

  1. Lyn March 5, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    What a great point, about trying to sell ourselves, His real treasure! I am going to be chewing on this post for a while. Thanks!

  2. Number 9 March 6, 2013 at 6:21 am #

    I LOVE THAT BOOK!!! I must have read it oh maybe 15 years ago or more! It’s a classic (IMHO). I believe when I read it it was her first book. I must look it up to see if she ever wrote any more. I had leant the book to my niece and never got it back so I will definitely purchase it again on my nook to re-read. Thank you for the reminder. I was about the age of the author when I read it and I remember thinking how impressed I was that she had published a book.

    • elliejaneohara March 6, 2013 at 7:38 am #

      It’s such a great book! I first read it when I was 15, and I’ve re-read it several times since then. She’s made me want to live (and write) well. She’s also a big reason why I first felt like I wouldn’t be selling my soul if I started looking into the Catholic Church.

      • Number 9 March 6, 2013 at 9:01 am #

        Beautiful testimony and I’m so glad you’re blogging through the process. Your words will touch others…

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