I find these challenging themes and I suspect I’m not alone. Our human brains are set up to comprehend the earthly, the temporary and the human. Attempting to comprehend the heavenly, the eternal and the divine requires a considerable exercise of our God-inspired imaginations. Perhaps it would be easier if we had the experience that Isaiah did seeing God on the throne, but I’m sure that my reaction would have been one of terror as was his. In Jesus’s case, his disciples saw him in human form (and did not really begin to understand his divine nature until the Resurrection) so in a sense we can better relate to the experience of the disciples as Jesus attempts to prod them into thinking beyond their earthly existence.
Still I find some comfort in all of this. If Biblical figures such as Isaiah and the disciples struggled and found themselves unworthy, perhaps we ought not scold ourselves unduly for entertaining some of the same thoughts. Sometimes we have to experience the divine in the human. We returned not long ago from a family vacation. Even though four of my five children are past high school age all but one was able to join us. Perhaps in the ordinary sense a round of miniature golf might not seem like a divine experience. But having the whole gaggle of us together laughing and joking together reminded me that there are little bits of heaven here on earth if we look hard enough. They aren’t found in power and wealth but in those tender and human moments.
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