Life is full of mysteries, here are just a few:
If money doesn't grow on trees then why do banks have branches?
In a cinema which arm rest is yours?
Why are there no 'B' batteries?
When does it stop being partly cloudy and start being partly sunny?
Stephen Hawking, the world renowned theoretical physicist and cosmologist, in an interview to mark his 70th birthday, stated that as far as he was concerned, women were a complete mystery. Many women might say the same about men!
We have just started a Lent Course entitled The Mystery of Everything which is based around the film The Theory of Everything depicting Stephen Hawking’s relationship with his first wife, Jane. I guess Hawking’s lifelong work has been to engage with cosmological mysteries and seek to explain them. His famous book, A Brief History of Time was described as ‘the most started and least finished book of modern times’! There are some mysteries that are easier to explain than others.
Johnny Nash sang in the 1970s, “there are more questions than answers, and the more I find out, the less I know.” That’s a bit frustrating isn’t it? At least at first glance. I suspect one of the reasons people come to church is to find answers to questions about life. (I also suspect that some come just to have a good sleep!!) But what if there are some mysteries about life and God that we will never be able to explain? How do we feel when having got the answer to one question another 2 or 3 become apparent?
The New Testament talks of both mysteries revealed and the things of God that remain hidden. In Ephesians 1:9,10 we read that, ‘God has now revealed to us his mysterious plan…..he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ’. But in 1 Corinthians 2:9 we read, ‘"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him."
So we thank God for what we know and for all that has been revealed to us in Christ, but at best it is as though ‘we are looking through a glass darkly’. There is a mystery at the heart of God and so there should be, but that mystery should inspire us to worship and serve our God who is altogether other, high and lifted up, perfect in righteousness, clothed in glory and yet who stoops low, takes the form of a servant and reveals his love on the cross.
‘Tis mystery all, the immortal dies,
Who can explore his strange design?
In vain the first-born seraph tries
To sound the depth of love divine.
‘tis mercy all! Let earth adore,
Let angel minds enquire no more.
Grace and Peace