Day Thirty-Six of Lent
April 10, 2019
By MB Discipleship
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth? – Psalm 113:5-6
Recently we’ve looked at Jesus’ encounter with a guy named Zacchaeus, and soon, we direct our attention toward Palm Sunday and Jesus’ seemingly triumphant parade into Jerusalem. Both of these illustrate powerful truths through Jesus’ words and actions. Jesus – God in the flesh – shows us who God is.
But it’s helpful to remember that God also stretches our comprehension, understanding, and imagination. Think of the most powerful thing you can imagine. What is it? A hurricane? An atomic bomb? A supernova? It’s difficult to comprehend the power of these things, but when we consider God, we’re saying that God is more than what we can picture. A hurricane? God is more powerful. An atomic bomb? That’s designed and constructed by humans. As awful as these weapons can be, they are astonishingly powerful. But God is far and away more powerful. A supernova? The immensity of an exploding star is one faint cricket to the Almighty.
So when the Psalmist asks, “who is like the Lord our God?” the writer essentially invites the congregation, vocalist, or reader to join in speculation, poetically comparing to emphasize just how transcendent God is. (Think about your favorite sports team, and imagine a cheer – “who is like Tri-County?” “No one!” or “who is like the Bulldogs?” “No one!” with examples of the triumphs of your team. This is essentially what the song writer invites you to do, to deliberately respond to the prompt toward comparison.
Who is like the Lord our God? No one! And how does the songwriter describe the Lord in this call to worship? “Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high, who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?” Who is like the Lord, the one who sits enthroned on high, who has to stoop down to see the skies and the earth, we are asked.
Who is like this God, enthroned over the universe – all being, all that was, all that ever has been, all that is and everything that could be or will be – visible and invisible, every possible sequence of choice, seeing every possible universe simultaneously and being able to bend any and every possible unfolding of choices inevitably towards redemption: “see, I am making all things new!” God can bring light into being easier than you can fold a really good paper airplane. The mysteries of the universe are clear and simple to the heart of the Trinity. The human genome, like a Kindergartener’s macaroni necklace.
We worship an all-powerful God, and this is essential, this is basic, this is meat and potatoes, we must remember this, if we are to walk together toward Palm Sunday, if we are to walk into Holy Week and watch the Last Supper and Jesus’ arrest and mistreatment, if we are to walk through the political wranglings of jurisdictional disputes with Jesus’ life hanging in the balance, if we are to walk with the women, the centurion at the cross watching Jesus allow himself to die. We cannot fast-forward through the suffering to Easter – but recognizing, remembering that God is all-powerful is essential to how we understand what Jesus is doing in Holy Week.
Why would an all-powerful God allow himself to be mocked by his creatures, to be spit on, to have his beard ripped out? This God who sits enthroned, who stoops down to see the earth and skies?
This is the incomprehensible power of love.
*Do you think God’s power could be active in your life?