THE YET-UNDISCOVERED REALMS!
READ: Psalm 48:12-13
“Walk about the Holy City of Jerusalem, walk through her city streets. Look upon her towers, admire her walls, examine her palaces, so that you can tell future generations that such is wonder of God. Remember our God is for ever and ever, God is our Guide!“ – Psalm 48:12-13
And Jesus said to His disciples…“I will send to you the Spirit and the Spirit will guide you into the further reaches of truth … and He will reveal to you the things to come. He will glorify me, since all the Spirit will reveal to you will be taken from what is Mine.” – John 16:13-14
Brother Marcus is a botanist by training, having taught at Notre Dame University for many, many years. He no longer works at the University as a professor and researcher, but now works as the Abbey’s historian and sometimes guide for his well-attended Nature Walks through the woodlands that surround Greyfriars’ Abbey. Every chance I get, I take one of those Nature Walks guided by this spiritual old soul, and each time, he guides me to even further understanding of and even deeper appreciation for God’s Creation. You would think Brother Marcus would run out of discoveries to share … but each time I journey through the woodlands with him, he guides me to some undiscovered wonder.
The Psalmist shouts, “Let all remember in whatever time they might live that God is our Guide!” Jesus tells His disciples about their journey into the yet undiscovered country of the future … “I will send you the Spirit and the Spirit will guide you into the further reaches of the truth.”
Out of the era of European Christendom, the Sovereign of England was given (or assumed!) the title, Defender of the Faith. And England is not alone in that defined role of their Sovereign. In Roman Catholicism, this idea of Defender of the Faith is placed in all levels of authority, most visibly in the role of papal authority. In my Protestant tradition, this role of Defender of the Faith tends to be more commonly understood as Defender of the Doctrine or Defender of the Scriptures (and their specific interpretation!). I suppose the role of the Defender of the Faith is a needed one … but I offer that it is not the only one. Drawing from our Biblical history, we must also respect and cherish the role of the Explorer of the Faith.
God is our Guide! God is our Guide into the further exploration of the further reaches of God’s Realm. Our Faith has always been a dynamic faith, not a static faith. Our Biblical Faith, our Christian Faith, has always been and will always need to be a pioneering spirit, always exploring beyond the borders into the yet undiscovered country. Our Faith is an historical faith, but that history is not only of the past, but also of the present moment and the unfolding future. The Biblical Faith has always been and will need to be a Faith that incorporates into itself the ongoing discoveries (as seen from our perspective) and the ongoing revealings (as seen from God’s perspective). Yes God is our Guide into the yet-to-be-discovered future.
Sadly, I have observed through all these many years of Christian discipleship and pastoral service that Defenders of the Faith and Explorers of the Faith are often quite uncomfortable with each other. They are tempted to place blame on each other for the state of the Church. Defenders of the Faith seem to be too much made of settled stone; Explorers of the Faith seem to be too much made of moving waters. Yet Jesus did state … and did try to teach us … that the Christian Way will be comprised of treasures both ancient and soon-to-be-uncovered.
My Loved Ones, it is a bit of irony … that now in these my greying years … I find my soul is most alive … in being guided by God to both the ancient places and the undiscovered realms. Our Faith, to be the authentic Faith, is both something very old and something very new.
Brother Anthony of the Cross
— For the latest installment of the ongoing story, The Mystic Realms of Shadow Fox, just click … https://greyfriarsabbey.wordpress.com/the-mystic-reams-of-shadow-fox/ … The installments are separated by ********* with the latest being at the end (obviously).
Visit my poetry site, Willow Words, by clicking www.willowwordspoetry.wordpress.com .
Also visit my new Psalter site for a reading of the Psalms www.thepsalmsbybrotheranthony.wordpress.com