Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Divine Humility, Cont.

Some points made in my continuing debate with my friend that go along with the Schmemman quote from before regarding the humility--which is not poverty or lacking in anything but rather the refraining from parading one's gloriousness out of a desire to be praised by others--that is a characteristic of the Holy Trinity:
  • It was inevitable that God's creatures be less than He, as He can't make anything greater than Himself, and the only thing equal to the Father is either begotten of or proceeds from Him, so anything created *must* be subservient to Him, must obey Him, must praise Him as being greater than they. How else could it be? Yet it was not merely so man could praise Him that He created them. Love was the main reason. Communion was the main reason. That communion is fully realized when we acknowledge our place and God's...which, inevitably, brings us to a place of praise and worship of God, but again, not done because God needs some ego stroke...as if He were doing it for His own peace of mind or because He needed to prove anything.
  • The image of Christ as humble servant, not as coming King (though He is also this) was what was called "the image of the invisible God."
  • By "humble" I mean a God who is complete in and of Himself, needing nothing from any man, not even praise. This humble God Who is complete thus orients His relationship with His Creation around service to the fallen creatures and eternal love with the redeemed, not around a desire to be praised that supercedes the creatures' salvation and love. The rocks themselves cry out to Him, not becuase he demands it, but because they knew their Redeemer was coming! Hosanna! (Oh, save!) They were tired of groaning out for redemption and knew (better than humans do, I think) that their Savior was there. It was because they knew God was acting on behalf of *them,* not *Himself*.
  • He is worthy of all praise, yet He (as far as I've seen, anyways) has never commanded us to praise Him. Yet we must praise Him, since we move back into our natural, healthy state of being by praising Him. We are made whole from the praise that gives Him nothing He had not before. Even our praise to Him is something He, being ever-giving and ever-complete in and of Himself, uses, not for His own press, but for our benefit alone.
  • The heavens, the earth, the throne room, etc., weren't created for the "sole purpose of praising Him." It's not a one-way thing where He just sits on the throne, taking it all in. He gives back, and this reciprocity, this LOVE is why we were created.
  • God does what He does, taking into no account the reactions of man. He does, however, concern Himself with whether or not man remembers the One who created him--not because His ego is hurt, but because He knows that man can never truly be man without God...and THIS is why He calls us to see Him in all His glory...otherwise we could never be human. And He cannot *help* but be glorious; it's just Who He is. Christ was in every way God, yet "thought it not robbery to be equal with God"--in other words, He didn't flaunt it! His miracles were for the good of *people*--even those that seemed to just be "signs"! The fig tree withered, not so He could impress folks with His godly power, but so they'd snap back into their rightful, natural place in the hierarchy.
  • The lowly form of the First Coming of Christ adds to God's glorious humility. The very fact that He was on the earth in a body yet never departed from the Father is glorious! To me, the "HOW it happened" is WHY it's glorious! It's glorious BECAUSE it's humble! It's beautiful BECAUSE it's complete, in and of itself, needing nothing, and acting solely out of concern for the other. Even His Second and Glorious Coming can be seen as humble, for it is not out of a desire for praise that He comes as a mighty King, but as He Who will liberate His Bride...again, not for His own "PR," but for our good He acts.
  • God does not need (though he has used) a thundering voice to make Himself known; He is in the still, small voice just as much as in the thunderous voice (which, by the way, not everyone heard...if God were proud (read: insecure), don't you think He would have made sure they all heard?)
  • Once He has come as King, He will never once TELL us to praise Him. In the eternal Kingdom we'll all finally "get it" and rest in the peace that submission brings. We'll be back where we belong, and will do nothing but grow in worshipful love. But what is more, He will continue to glorify us! Should we perhaps beware, then, lest our glorification make us "proud" or not "humble"? Humility, then, does not necessarily equal lack or error or shame, or anything of the kind, just like glory does not equal arrogance, attention-grabbing or anything like it.
  • The two loves--that among the members of the Trinity with each other and that of the Trinity for mankind--are not the same, for each member of the Holy Trinity loves and is loved perfectly, the Godhead thus existing as an eternal icon of community, of solidarity, of love among persons (as opposed to a lone monad, which cannot love Itself) and, as such, is complete in this Love. This love is eternal, is complete, is what we are all called to. Yet we cannot participate in this as we are. So does He (let's say, the Father) love us *more* than the Son and HS? No. Does He love us *differently* than He does Them? Yes, for WE are in need of saving; the other two Members of the Godhead have no such relationship of need with the Father. The Trinity's relationship within Itself is perfect and complete, in no need of any other affirmation or acknowledgement. But the relationship between God and man is still being healed, and as we were created to love God, all that God is doing proactively is for our benefit, as His Triune Love will always be eternal rest.

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