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  • Writer's pictureDr. Anthony Lilles

Fire from Above and the Son of Man

"What we utter is God's wisdom: a mysterious, a hidden wisdom... Yet God has revealed this wisdom to us through the Spirit" 1 Cor. 2:7 and 10.


In Daniel 7:2-14, though overwhelming forces blow and surge through the world, the radiant King of the Universe is enthroned above the fray, undeterred by the winds and waves of the age. This is the Holy Trinity - the surging of an uncreated love from which everything good and noble proceeds. People of faith are not limited by a vision that only sees the passing intrigues of injustice. Their eyes are lifted up to the One who is their help. He is the great artist whose primal art cannot be defaced even when threatened by gross injustice. The Almighty God has created a world so beautiful that it can make the heart ache with a fullness of meaning - for those who glimpse this glory, joy and sorrow crescendo into a grateful stillness. That benevolent silence is enclosed in the mystery of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Only within this primordial cloister, only in this secret garden accessed by faith, only in this hidden mountain that obedience to God can find, in this place, the truth about the world is unveiled. The Uncreated Love eternally engendered by the Father and the Son is enthroned on wheels, streams and flames of Fire. Unheeded by the world, myriads upon myriads attend and minister to this great Furnace of Love. Who can resist this burning heat and what can hide from such shining radiance? Yet, none of the rulers of this age knew the mystery; if they knew it, the would never have crucified the Lord of glory (1 Cor. 2:8). Notwithstanding the tumult of the times, Love's eternal purpose holds. In the face of arrogant powers, Love's final judgment is rendered. Unquenchable Love decides for the humble and lowly. Jealous Love casts down every dehumanizing monstrosity and abusive abomination. Tender Love establishes order and peace so that all that is good, noble and true in our life might thrive in pure intensity. Above all violence and oppression, the Living God recognizes the sovereignty of the Son of Man. The Savior reveals the liberty of love entirely freed from self, completely surrendered in love. The powerful of this world grasp for absolute authority over the lives of others and become enslaved to the monsters of their own making. Though He was in the form of God, Son though He was, Jesus did not grasp at Divine Power but rather emptied Himself, humbly taking the form of a slave to set us free. If wisdom in this world below avoids humiliation and defends from threats, wisdom from above acts in the opposite way. The Suffering Servant entered into every humiliation man has every suffered out of love, so that no matter the humiliation that comes our way, we might know the immensity of the Father's goodness. Though humiliated by us unto death, he yearned to become like us in all things but sin, so that we might not suffer alone, not even death itself. This is a wisdom from above. It can suffer death because it comes from a love that is stronger than death and that no power can over come. With divine dignity and integrity, the Good Shepherd sacrificed everything to restore our humanity to the glory for which it was made, and no matter how lost we become, He never tires in his search to take us home. At the sound of His voice, the darkness of fear and shame draw back. Touched by truth, we suddenly realize that we are not far from the pathway home. Carried on His shoulders, no matter the dark valley, we find our rest. He is the Man of Sorrows who bore our afflictions with divine love and by whose stripes in his human flesh we are healed. No matter how diseased or wounded our hearts, the Son of Mary has power to heal so that we might make a new beginning. When He comes on the clouds of heaven, the Word of the Father is presented in the power of the Holy Spirit and presents us so that we might know the immensity of the Father's mercy as He Himself has known it before the foundation of the world. All He desires is that we might become who He created us to be - creatures of an Uncommon Love, capable of making that Love known wherever and whenever that Love is needed. He yearns to raise us up so that through our lives His dominion might be revealed to those whom He has entrusted to us, to both friend and foe, to all those who most need a word of hope.

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