Monday, August 26, 2013

My starry night...

I was thinking on having another clear out, as a way of escaping the thoughts about just how ill I was yesterday.  Just how slowly the hours passed.  Just how poor in spirit I was.  And scared. But today is the start of a mini-heat wave during what has otherwise been a most wonderfully cool summer—just like the first summer I moved here—much to my delight.  Where I wanted to tackle was the attic.  The now stinking hot attic.

I was thinking about how I mentioned the Christmas decorations.  I have reduced them down from two  of the largest Rubbermaid storage containers and one of the medium ones to just a large one.  However, even so, I still have not used the majority of the decorations in years.  Living alone and being alone at the holidays, I simply do not see the point.

I was also thinking about the lights, wondering if I could use them to light up the inside of the front porch roof.  It would tickle me to have them there ... my own sort of starry night.  A reminder of that beautiful episode of Doctor Who and the quote about good things and bad things.  Only the practical part of me thought that having them up and using them would result in a higher electricity bill.

Thinking about the starry night and Christmas led me to one of my favorite songs:

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus 'twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers and shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven, a star's light did fall
And the promise of ages it then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing
A star in the sky or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels in heaven to sing
He surely could have it, 'cause he was the King

I wonder as I wander out under the sky
How Jesus the Saviour did come for to die
For poor on'ry people like you and like I;
I wonder as I wander out under the sky

                            ~John Jacob Niles

Do you ever look up at the heavens ... gobsmacked ... and wonder how in the world it could actually be that Jesus would want to come into this wretched vale of tears and live amongst us so that He could die a miserable, tortuous death?  For you?  For me?

On the Snippets blog, I have been posting from the Formula Solid Declaration of late, particularly about the natures of Christ.  The last post and the one that came from where I was reading today are particularly poignant for one who struggles so much with her own flesh:

In fulfilling Christ's office, the person does not act and work in, with, through, or according to only one nature. It works in, according to, with, and through both natures. As the Council of Chalcedon expresses it, one nature works in communion with the other what is a property of each. Therefore, Christ is our Mediator, Redeemer, King, High Priest, Head, Shepherd, and so on, not according to one nature only (whether it be the divine or the human), but according to both natures.
~BOC, FSD, VIII, 46-47

That, really, is more of a statement of fact, whereas this bit below is more of a promise.  By this I mean, words that sing within my weak and weary heart:

The divine and the human nature have this personal union with each other in the person of Christ and have the communion resulting from it (in deed and truth).  For this reason, there is attributed to Christ (according to the flesh) what His flesh, according to its nature and essence, cannot be by itself.  Apart from this union, His flesh cannot have these attributes:  His flesh is a truly live-giving food and His blood a truly life-giving drink.  The two hundred Fathers of the Council of Ephesus have testified that Christ's flesh is a life-giving flesh.  Therefore, this man only, and no man besides, either in heaven or on earth, can say with truth, "Where two or three are gathered in My name, there am I among them" (Matthew 18:20).  Also, "And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:20).

We do not understand these testimonies to mean that only Christ's divinity is present with us in the Christian Church and Congregation, and that such presence does not apply to Christ according to His humanity in no way whatever.  For in that way Peter, Paul, and all the saints in heaven—since divinity, which is everywhere present, dwells in them—would also be with us on earth.  However, the Holy Scriptures say this only about Christ, and no other man.  We hold that by these words the majesty of the man Christ is declared.  Christ as receive this majesty, according to His humanity, at the right hand of God's majesty and power.  So also, according to His receive human nature and with the same, He can be, and also is, present where He wants to be.  He is present especially in His Church and congregation on earth as Mediator, Head, King, and High Priest.  This presence is not a part, or only one half of Him.  Christ's entire person is present, to which both natures along, the divine and the human—not only according to His divinity, but also according to, and with, His received human nature.  He is our Brother, and we are flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone.  He has instituted His Holy Supper for the certain assurance and confirmation of this, so that He will be with us, and dwell, work, and be effective in us also according to that nature from which He has flesh and blood.
~BOC, FSD, VIII, 76-79 (emphasis mine)

THAT is why Jesus did come for to die!

So very difficult to grasp.
So sweet.  Too sweet.
Hope and doubt mingled together as I stare at Christ's body and blood ... for me.

That is my starry night.  The things I wonder as I wander—in spirit if no longer in body.  I downloaded the song playing in the background at the end of the episode of "Vincent and the Doctor."  Not for the words, really—the lyrics are really lyrics of regret and loss—but for the tune.  The tune brings to mind the beauty the writers created in examining artistry and mental illness and all that there is to see in the world God created.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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