September 29th 2009

We Need A Map!

“What is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You take care of him? You have made him a little lower than the angels…. But now we do not yet see all things put under him.”
Hebrews 2:7-8 (NKJV)

Did you see the new Hot Spots London Underground map the other day? It shows the average temperature of the lines underground so that you can avoid the worst bits if you need to.

The London Underground map is very familiar to everyone all around the world. Yet the Underground itself is nothing like the map. The map has been simplified and ‘straightened out’, with the spaces between stations made uniform. We all appreciate that, and don’t get all upset when it takes twice as long to travel between Highgate and East Finchley on the Northern Line, than it does between Bond Street and Oxford Circus on the Central Line. Walk them, as I have during a tube strike, and you’ll know the difference!

And the Bible is just like that. Because God knows that we are human, frail, and so limited in our capacity to grasp spiritual things, that He has simplified and ‘straightened out’ all sorts of spiritual information so that we can better grasp them.

As the Book of Common Prayer puts it: God condescends to men of low (or humble) estate. Of course, many people bristle at that. We human beings like to think we’re at the top of the heap where life is concerned – but we’re not. Perhaps that’s what’s missing in our walk with God–a map of our position vis-à-vis God and the spiritual realm. Because God says that one day we will find ourselves welcomed within that spiritual realm. But not just yet.

Most merciful Father, thank you for your concern regarding mere mortal man. You have done everything to advance us towards your spiritual Kingdom, using this life and its many difficulties and joys, to further your aims in our lives. Our future is in your hands. And we choose that it be so, and ask for your continued active involvement in our day-to-day walk with you. In Jesus’ name.

 Study by John Stettaford 

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