—1 John 4:14
It is a sweet thought that Jesus Christ did not come forth without His Father's permission, authority, consent, and assistance. He was sent of the Father, that He might be the Saviour of men. We are too apt to forget that, while there are distinctions as to the persons in the Trinity, there are no distinctions of honour. We too frequently ascribe the honour of our salvation, or at least the depths of its benevolence, more to Jesus Christ than we do the Father. This is a very great mistake. What if Jesus came? Did not His Father send Him? If He spake wondrously, did not His Father pour grace into His lips, that He might be an able minister of the new covenant? He who knoweth the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost as he should know them, never setteth one before another in his love; he sees them at Bethlehem, at Gethsemane, and on Calvary, all equally engaged in the work of salvation. O Christian, hast thou put thy confidence in the Man Christ Jesus? Hast thou placed thy reliance solely on Him? And art thou united with Him? Then believe that thou art united unto the God of heaven. Since to the Man Christ Jesus thou art brother, and holdest closest fellowship, thou art linked thereby with God the Eternal, and "the Ancient of days" is thy Father and thy friend. Didst thou ever consider the depth of love in the heart of Jehovah, when God the Father equipped His Son for the great enterprise of mercy? If not, be this thy day's meditation. The Father sent Him! Contemplate that subject. Think how Jesus works what the Father wills. In the wounds of the dying Saviour see the love of the great I AM. Let every thought of Jesus be also connected with the Eternal, ever-blessed God, for "It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief."
—Charles Haddon Spurgeon, Morning and Evening (5 February, Morning: "Sent by the Father")
Spurgeon keeps being too good to cut down.
For my part, however, I've lacked desire or ability to write as much lately. On one hand, it's no big deal, since that's not how I make my living, and no one is hanging on my every word. On the other, writing has been how I've sorted out and pinned down my thoughts for many years—not doing so can mean that I'm not really engaging my mind, and that those thoughts I do have are bouncing around muddy and unfocused.
Sitting outside with coffee and a muffin at Irwin's now. Good.
Day off yesterday, dinner and prayer with Annette, Heather, and Nate, then a welcome party for our new pastoral intern at John's. Good times: Garrett fixed me up with a Presbyterian (the drink, not a date) and I caught up with some folks. An odd part of my social matrix is "public figure mode." Since I've spent much of my life in some kind of public role, my interactions are often with people who primarily or solely with people who know me through that role. There's a perceived knowledge of one another that's really founded on the role. And it's a mode I have a degree of comfort with; I certainly prefer it to fumbling for conversation. But it's not at all the same as being with people who are connected to me but not my role. I'm really hungry for those relationships.
As I drifted off last night, my thoughts turned to mistakes almost 20 years old. Shameful what a self-centered coward I was, even as I struggled to be something else, and who paid the price for that. I still know what I'm capable of, and honestly, I don't have to look back two decades for reminders. God's grace is so tremendous. Yet there are still things I want to make some sense of, even if I don't get to be the hero. And I wonder if I really mean that.