I’m sure that at some point in your life you have experienced the flashing brilliance of a Kingfisher. I had my third experience recently and was once again left utterly amazed at the sheer beauty of this momentary experience.
There are so many ways we can experience something that takes our breath away. A moment in time and space that transcends both. A moment of glory or beauty or some other unexpected event, can be quite moving…no, that’s not quite right, how about exhilarating, or goose-bumpily amazing?
This is what I mean by what the Church calls ‘The Transcendant’ – an awareness that this earthly life we live points to something from somewhere else, another place beyond, outside ourselves and our material experiences. The famous author of The Chronicles of Narnia once tried to explain this phenomena when he wrote, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
For all its earthly faults over 2000 years, the Church has tried, at her best, to show the truth of this claim by C. S. Lewis. Human beings, men and women, boys and girls everywhere, have an inbuilt capacity for life, and life with meaning, or as Jesus said, “life in all its fullness.” This is because the image we bear within the micro-structure of our soul is the imprint of God Himself. That means, for example, when we are hungry, we eat to satisfy our stomach, and rightly so. When thirsty, we drink to quench our thirst. Goody! Hunger and thirst in the physical senses are signs of the hunger and thirst in the Lewis sense – the Divine sense – they point to a deeper need and deeper reality beyond our physical need and beyond our material reality. Our hunger and thirst is but the symbol and sign of our need for God, the God revealed in Jesus Christ.
Yet our searching is marred by the complexities of our life and motives, and for many, littered with broken dreams and relationships (the Bible word for all of this dis-order is sin). And yet we know there is more, or that at least, that you are made for more. And you are. Much more, that is the Truth claim of the Gospel: Jesus Christ has shown us what God is like, and we discover that this God actually does like…you, me, us! (I say “like” deliberately because most people can tolerate “God loves you” but bristle at “God likes you” – that’s because it’s a whole other ‘ball game” – which is a metaphor for some deep ontological psycho-analyitical super-structure of metaphysics)! [note: I know, the caffine kicked in, but it’s still true)!
Human beings are made in the image of a God who made everything; a God who in love invites us into a reconciled relationship with Him. The way He chose to do this in order to reveal His Holy nature and Loving character was by being born as a human being, and suffering the death that all our brokenness and alienation from Him bring about: Pick up a newspaper or watch the evening news on TV and you literally witness the proof of this. Look inward at your own heart and yee know I spake the truth. The Good News of Jesus Christ stands against the Fake News of the world’s social constructs, and the Bad News of the relentless current accounts presented by Others as “the way things are”. The Good News of God transcends the way things are to show the way things are going to be. That’s why Jesus Himself said, “…you know how to interpret the coming weather, but you don’t know how to read the signs of the times” (Matthew 16:3).
Jesus is the King Fisher! He is the True King who “fishes” for the true you – the lost sheep who He wants to adopt as a son or a daughter. Have you noticed, in fleeting moments where He is at work calling you to know Him, calling you to come home; calling you to the beauty and glory of “life in all its fullness.” A flash of brilliance, “you have heard it said, but I say unto you…” , such was the genius of His immaculate life. God from God, Light from Light – so goes the ancient Creed. It feels as if God’s got our number; as if He’s on to us; won’t let up, slow down or give in. He hasn’t, He isn’t and He won’t, Ever ( Acts 3:19-21). It reminds me of the Parable of the Lost Sheep (Luke 15). He doesn’t give in, but the Gospel is a call for you to give in – to Him – and there find satisfaction, blessedness, joy, and, well… Bliss: God Himself: Life in ALL its fullness.
This Easter, will you notice the King Fisher of the Human Race – Jesus Christ? God in the flesh calling you to know with all your heart a God of Love who is the greatest Beauty and the Telos – the goal – of all our Transcendant Longings. And enjoy your dinner! As you feel the satisfaction of a full stomach, know that your stomach is preaching to you the Truth of the Jesus-made universe: God is Love, and Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners. When Christians eat the Eucharistic Bread, we are filling our body and satisfying our hunger (at the material level), and ensuring our deepest need is met (at the deepest spiritual, metaphysical level): Jesus Christ was crucified for us and so we consume Him in our worship and our lives, and it is preciesly there that He meets us. Glory hallelujah.
Bless you all…. wait…. By “Bless you all” I don’t mean this as a kind of wimpy farewell greeting that religious types utter in moments of awkward social convention; Rather, I mean “BLESS” as in a direct invocation of the Power of Christ the King [fisher] and in the Name of Christ to make known the blessed purposes of His will for you in this life He has given you; so to continue….. Bless you all in hope and joy that God’s glorious Holy Love captures your heart and mind this Easter, whether you know Him now or not yet, and pray you know and experience His transcendant peace which forgives all your sin and passes all understanding.
Glory to Jesus Christ.