Text: Matthew 27:32-44
To trust the God who is hidden
To not be dismayed in times of struggle
To appreciate more the wonder of the Holy Supper
ONE OF LUTHER’S great contributions to Christian thought was his focus on what he called “theology of the cross.” This phrase sums up an entire catalog of ideas about God, the Church and individual Christians, but the idea behind it is that we must never think that we can lay hold of or grab God by our ideas, our theories or our philosophies, but only in the ways that God wishes to be known. Luther insisted that God reveals himself only under his opposites—those times, persons or places where we would not expect to find God. The Cross itself is the supreme example of this unexpected encounter—for there the Savior of the world is hung, “unable” to save himself.
While Luther developed this idea of the hidden God and made it central to his understanding of the Gospel, the core of his idea was found throughout the Church’s witness to her Lord. So we have this poem from Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century:
Lord, I adore you steadfast in hiding;
God in the twilight, in bare shapes, shadowing.
See, Lord, at your service is my humble heart
Lost in wonder at your mighty art.
Seeing, touching, tasting—all these deceive;
Only in trusty hearing may you be believed.
What God’s Son has told me, that as truth I do,
Truth himself speaks truly or there’s nothing true.
On the cross your glory showed no sign to men,
There your very life steals away from human ken;
Both are my confession, both are my belief,
And so I pray as if I am that dying thief.
I hold in hand the token of Christ crucified
Living Bread the life of us for whom he died
Please give your life to me, Lord; feed, feast my mind
Be to me the sweetness that we are meant to find.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks