Stale. Bland. Perfunctory. If I am honest, my time with the Lord for the past week has felt like the oatmeal that made you roll your eyes every morning when it greeted you for breakfast.
To be clear, the fault lies not in the gospel, but in my tastebuds and my small-mindedness, my acedia, as the church has historically referred to it.
The grace of God is variegated, multi-colored, multi-faceted, infinitely able to capture us and keep us exploring within its beautiful boundaries. We, however, are dumbed by sin, numbed by busyness, bored by our own limiting choices.
As I sat down to meet with the Lord, I found myself frustrated with the stale bread I was choking down. Jesus, being infinitely gracious, took me by the pointing finger and showed me what He saw.
A little girl camped out in a tiny corner of an infinitely acred field, hidden behind a makeshift fence. Inside the little corner, the land had been plotted and used well. Every square inch accounted for and accumulating trinkets and treasures.
The little girl’s eyes were pooling with tears, as she thought she had exhausted the beauty, the knowledge, the treasure of the field. Arms crossed, she looked upon her treasures. They were beautiful but they were not fresh.
Through a handful of verses in 1 John and an accompanying commentary. The Holy Spirit reminded me, that little girl, of the paradox that the Gospel is ancient yet ever new.
Inviting me out of my corner, the Lord showed me the flowing fields of which my tiny plot was only a portion of a portion of a percentage.
Yes, it is the same gospel, the gospel that gripped me as a desperate high school girl; yet it is infinitely deeper and larger and richer than I can even fathom. No need for staleness with an infinite God and His living Word.
I don’t need a new novel or a new journal or a new coffee mug, I need new eyes to see the Ancient yet Ever New One. And He delights to give me those whenever I ask and fully intend to use them.
Jesus himself described the gospel as a treasure hidden in a field. Matthew records him saying, “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.” Matthew 13:44.
Sometimes, in my short-mindedness, I think that I have exhausted the treasure, figured it out, counted it all. The treasure and the field containing it seems to lose their luster. But God, being rich in His mercy, doesn’t let me believe that lie too long.
Concerning the paradox of the Ancient, yet ever new Christ, MacClaren wrote the following.
“And life’s new circumstances, it’s emerging duties, are like the strokes of the spade which clear away the soil and disclose to us the treasure in all its extend which we purchased when we bought that field. We buy the treasure at once, but it takes a long time to count it. The old Christ is the perpetually new Christ.”
Holding His Hand, being led by His Indwelling Spirit, I have much more to explore and find within this field. The infinite Christ who became finite that I might know the infinite love of the Trinity is here.
I’m off to explore new sights of the Ancient yet perpetually new One.