Completely Known (October 4, 2012)

…Opening To…

I am a flower quickly fading (here today and gone tomorrow)
A wave tossed in the ocean, a vapor in the wind.
Still you hear me when I’m calling; Lord, you catch me when I’m falling,
And you’ve told me who I am: I am yours. (Casting Crowns)

…Listening In…

Now we see a reflection in a mirror; then we will see face-to-face. Now I know partially, but then I will know completely in the same way that I have been completely known. (1 Corinthians 13:12; context)

…Filling Up…

In the Gospel according to John, Jesus places himself directly in the path of the tradition of God’s revelation to Moses that we talked about yesterday. Unlike some parts of the other accounts of the Gospel (Matthew, Mark, and Luke) in which Jesus’ divine identity is kept a secret, the Jesus of John’s account proclaims quite often that he is the Son of God and, indeed, one with the Father. He does this in two ways: first, he states explicitly that he is the Son of God and, indeed, one with the Father. Second, he says “I am” over and over again. By saying “I am,” he applies to himself the divine identity that God revealed to Moses on Mount Horeb.

Jesus says “I am” over a dozen times in the Gospel according to John. Some of these statements read simply “I am”; in some translations of the Bible, these are translated as “I am he,” and “It is I,” which are both technically correct, but they downplay the intent of divine revelation. Others read “I am ________,” such as “I am the good shepherd,” and “I am the light of the world.”

Early in the Gospel according to John, it says: “No one has ever seen God. God the only Son, who is at the Father’s side, has made God known” (1:18). This making God known happens in part when Jesus say, “I am”; that is, when Jesus reveals the divine identity. At the same time as Jesus is revealing the divine identity, he is also teaching me who I am. I have be-ing because God is the ground of that be-ing, so when Jesus reveals God’s be-ing, I discover my own existence, my own life. In his discussion of love in 1 Corinthians 13, Paul says that he is “completely known.” God’s “complete knowledge” of me is another way of saying that my be-ing has its home in God. Therefore, I discover my identity most fully and perfectly when I am abiding in God, who knows me in full.

…Praying For…

Dear God, you hold me in the palm of your hands and invite me to abide in your love. Help me to locate my identity in your sure and steady presence; in Jesus Christ’s name. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, knowing that you are the foundation of all creation. I exist because you have spoken and loved me into existence.

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