“M” is for Mystery (March 1, 2013)

…Opening To…

Yesterday, you understood a little; today, you understand better; tomorrow, you will understand better still: the light of God is growing in you. (St. Augustine of Hippo)

…Listening In…

Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son, and heirs of your eternal kingdom. (Book of Common Prayer (1979), p. 366)

…Filling Up…

This Lent, we are exploring our faith by running through the alphabet. Today, “M” is for Mystery. There’s a phrase in one of the prayers found in the Episcopal liturgy that states, Thank you [Lord]…for assuring us in these holy mysteries that we are living members of the Body of your Son…”

Assuring us in these holy mysteries. You might ask: “How can a mystery by assuring? Aren’t mysteries purposefully suspenseful and bewildering?” And here’s where we have to define “mystery” in two ways. First, there’s the mysteries on the back wall of the book store. In these books, a mystery is set forth: say, how did the killer manage to murder someone in a room locked from the inside? The plot revolves around the detective attempting to solve the puzzle. In the end, the detective figures out that the bell rope used to call for the maid was replaced with a poisonous snake, which somehow slithered unnoticed out of the room in the ensuing hubbub of discovering the body. Mystery solved. No more mystery.

The mysteries of God are mysteries of a different order from the bookstore “Whodunnits.” The mysteries of God cannot be solved, cannot be explained away. When I encounter the Divine, I feel the enormity of the mystery of God surrounding me. And I rejoice that this mystery discloses itself in light and life and love. If I could explain the mystery, I would be in danger of explaining it away, of shelving it like the “Whodunnits” in the bookstore. The mystery of God transcends explanation. It is elusive, and at the same time intimate; it cannot be grasped, but it can be embraced. The intimacy and the embrace happen when the mystery touches the spark of creativity within us, spurring us to proclaim the Word made flesh, Jesus Christ. The assurance in the mystery happens when we realize that an embrace takes two.

…Praying For…

Dear God, thank you for revealing enough of yourself so that I know that I stand forever in your presence. Help me to embrace your mystery, proclaim your love, and serve in the ways that you call me to serve. In Jesus Christ’s name I pray. Amen.

…Sending Out…

I leave this moment with you, God, thankful that you continue to shine your light in my heart and mind, that I may continue to know you better through every way that you choose to reveal yourself.