Christ stilling the waves

The Trumpeteer

“In this world one thing comes and goes, and another takes its place. And all is flux and change. But the Word of God doesn’t change, it remains forever.
Make your home in Him.”
(St. Augustine)

In the book of the Beginning (Genesis) it is recorded that humanity fell from grace and lost its innate communion with God through an inordinate desire for knowledge; a lust for hidden things, forbidden things. And having lost its innate communion with God, it consequently lost its harmony with nature, which in turn resulted in the fracturing of human fellowship. The world became a sea of suffering, strife and sorrow.
Corruption is in the world through lust, says the Apostle Peter (2 Peter 1:4). Lust for secret knowledge (occultism and the abuse of science), lust for power (domination and war), lust for riches (greed, consumerism, and exploitation), lust for fame (egotism, vanity, and vainglory), and lust for the flesh (sexual immorality and pornography). Called by God to be a partaker in the Divine nature, man chooses to debase and de-humanise himself in the pursuit of his disordered passions.

“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the Immortal God for images resembling mortal man or animals.
For this reason God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts, to dishonourable passions among themselves; men with men, women with women, in shameless acts.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, and malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, and deceit, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, haughty, boastful, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them. Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are.” (The Epistle to the Romans)

“The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. Ever since the creation of the world his invisible nature, namely, his eternal power and deity, has been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse; for although they knew God they did not honour him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the Immortal God for images resembling mortal man or animals.
For this reason God gave them up to the lusts of their hearts, to dishonourable passions among themselves; men with men, women with women, in shameless acts.
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, and malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, and deceit, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, haughty, boastful, foolish, faithless, heartless, and ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them. Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are.”

(The Epistle to the Romans)

God is present everywhere as a sustaining and animating force, yet He remains hidden. He doesn’t impose himself. He gives man space. “The heavens belong to the Lord, but the earth he has given to men.” (Psalm 113:16). In his humility God respects the free will He has given to man. He loves his children, however wayward, and desires not to constrain them. The heavens indeed proclaim the glory of God, and nature shows forth the works of his hands, yet no voice is heard except a gentle whisper, like the soft hum of a summer breeze. This is how the Spirit speaks, quietly, to those who have ears to hear. For God sends out his Word to the ends of the earth, like a wayfarer, a homeless wanderer, roaming the earth and knocking at the door of the human heart. “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears my voice and opens the door I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me” (Rev. 3:20)
The “wrath of God” is his pain, his sorrow at man’s rejection of him. God delivers men to the consequences of their sins: strife, disunity, disease, war, famine, and death. God lets the Devil assail man. Wrath is therefore, withdrawal of God’s grace, and the withdrawal of his protection from the afflictions of a fallen world.

Yet this hidden God, in whom we live, move, and have our being, doesn’t leave fallen man to his fate. Instead, he reveals himself to man in three locations: in Jesus, the Christ (Anointed One), the Word made flesh. In the Holy Scriptures, the Word recorded; and in the Holy sacrament, the Word manifest in bread and wine.
Jesus is the word of God, through whom all things were made, and for whom all things were made; the fragile Word implanted in the womb of the Blessed Virgin. Like Mary, God would have us “receive with meekness the implanted Word, which is able to save your souls”, as the Apostle James declares (Jas. 1:21). For the Word is a lamp shining in darkness until the day dawns and the Morning Star, which is Christ, arises in the human heart. He is full of grace and truth. “I am the Light of the world,” He says, “He who follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (Jn. 8:12).
Yet though the Light has come into the world, men have loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds, habitually, have become evil. Thus declares the Apostle John (Jn. 3:19-20).

The Word, meek and humble, yet powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword calls man to be reborn, to become as a child. “Unless you become like little children you cannot enter the kingdom of heaven,” says Christ (Mt. 18:3). Man must turn from his pride and arrogance, his self-will and his passions, and come to God with simple trust, like a child to a parent. “Love not the world, nor the things in the world; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. These are not of God. The world passes away, and its lust, but whoever does the will of God will remain forever,” says the Apostle John (1 Jn.. 2:15-17).
The world, with is miseries and oppressions, its falsehoods and deceits, can only be overcome through Christ, the Word of God, who announces that the humble, the gentle, the sorrowful, the merciful, the pure in heart, and the peacemakers are those who are blessed, and who belong to God. They are his children. They pray, they fast, they give alms liberally; they feed the hungry, clothe the naked, shelter the homeless, and visit the sick and imprisoned. They receive the word of the Cross, which is folly to the wise. Because the Word of God goes counter to all the desires of human nature; it abases pride, crushes arrogance, subdues lust, and exposes evil, leaving all human pretensions in dust and ashes. Such a thing is unpalatable and few will receive it, even within the Church. Those who do receive it will be rejected, and derision and persecution will be their lot. They will be with Christ, ‘outside the gate’.

Only Christ can save man from his own futility. To seek any other God apart from the One found in Jesus, his Word, is only to find the Devil.

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