During this Christmas season as believers we spend extra time reflecting on the meaning of God become a human being. This is the greatest miracle of our faith and the story that we have to tell to a dying world. God became human flesh in the baby Jesus. We read in Gal 4:4, “But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law.” God allowed himself to be fully known in human form. Through the gospel story we experience Jesus going through all of the same issues of life that we face. “Since he himself has gone through suffering and testing, he is able to help us when we are being tested” (Heb 2:18). This is how we come to know God. We see him in the face of Jesus. “If you know me, you would also know my Father” (John 8:18) Jesus tells us.
But what about our being known by God. Is that a strange and even unsettling concept for you. I know for us men, who are more secure in our “control tower of reason” we struggle with being known, especially by God. In a new book entitled “Anatony of the Soul,” Curt Thompson, M.D. talks about being known by God. He points out that we spend much more emphasis on the ways and the degree to which we know God or things about God. Most of the time we reflect on what or how much you know or know about God. We seldom ask the question, “What is my experience of being know by God?
Because of the enlightenment focus on thinking, “knowing things” has held first place in our culture. We place value on the facts, knowing the “truth” and knowing that we are right. Thompson observes, “….not just any way of knowing. We have most valued knowing facts, knowing the “truth” and knowing that we are right. Right about the way things work, the way to behave, and the way to think about issues of faith…..We even subject our experience of faith to research scrutiny in ordr to give it more weight apologically.” But an over emphasis on this way of knowing can prevent us from the experience of being known, of loving and being loved. This relates back to something that I blog about often; the ability of men to simply receive from God. By that I mean, being about to hear the still, small voice of God declaring our belovedness.
Our “knowing about” gives us the illusion that we are secure and in charge. This is something that seems to be built into the DNA of men. But we fear being know for who we are. We don’t like to think of being found out. We especially don’t like to be brought to the edge of deepening relationship with God and significant others. For then in our understanding of reality we have to enter into the “chaos and mystery” of relationships. But this will need to happen if we are to be known by God. We have to let go of our understanding and having to be in control. It is in those intimate times of vulnerability that we are able to hear the voice of God, calling us his beloved. It is once again the call to childlike surrender. Paul reminds us that we don’t have to always have the answer. “We sometimes tend to think we know all we need to know to answer these kinds of questions – but sometimes our humble hearts can help us more than our proud minds. We never really know enough until we recognize that God alone knows it all” ( I Cor 8:3 – The Message). So let us listen with a humble heart, not with a proud mind.