Thursday, September 20, 2007

God with a face

Numbers 6.23-26 gives us the traditional Trinitarian blessing:

The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:

The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:

The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Although it's important to remember that -- theologically speaking -- all of God's works toward us are works of the whole, undivided Trinity, we tend to think of the different persons as having special places in our creation and salvation.

The first phrase reminds us of God's creation and preservation of us and all the world, one that we often associate with God the Father. (With always keeping in mind the Son's role -- see John 1 -- as well as that of the Holy Spirit's "brooding" on the waters in Genesis 1.2)

The third phrase speaks to the Holy Spirit's job of bringing us to the Son, and giving us peace through Christ.

But what seems especially cool is the second phrase. God makes His face shine on us. The theology of the incarnation reminds us that we have a God who is one of us. Even now. God took a body, which He will never leave or lose. So at the right hand of the Father now stands a man, a man with flesh and blood, like us, only without sin. A man with a face. A Savior whose face we will one day see.

(Not to mention that that divine and human is said to "shine": shining today and then, brighter than the sun. Shining with the true and incarnate glory of God).

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