The Numinous

Think for a minute about each of following statements;

Millions of stars that glimmer into the distant reaches of the universe.

The hazy arms of the Milky Way galaxy as they spiral across the night sky.

The clock-like procession of the seasons as our planet travels around the sun.

Sunsets in iridescent orange, purple and every other fantastic color imaginable.

Silver moonlight soothing the world in an ethereal luminosity.

And Jesus.

Yes, God did take on flesh and become a man. Although Divine, He also became the Son of man.

But God is even more infinitely faceted than the universe He created.

Yes, I know the Jesus of the gospels. Do you know that the entire universe, all creation, both visible and invisible was created through Him? John 1:3

Sadly, many believers have lost their sense of wonder.

Our western civilization prides itself on trying to explain and categorize everything, but it’s not as simple as we like to think.

All our lives, we see Jesus portrayed as He walked the Earth during His life here, and it inspires us to love His humanity. He took on our human nature, so that we could partake of His divine nature. It is the greatest single event in the history of creation. But there is more to Jesus, or indeed, the Holy Trinity, than ‘meets the eye’.

How do we comprehend infinity? What is eternity like? What is the relationship like between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit? How do we explain God???

I submit to you, that the picture at the top of this post captures just as much of His character as those other ‘portraits’ do. I’ve heard it said that you can learn a lot about an artist from his work;

Reflect, if you will, on the myriads of all the forms and species of life in all their impossible shapes and colors. Think about the unexplored depths of the oceans, still filled with countless and unclassified forms of life.  And what about the infinite universe, space and stars that go on forever and ever?

But all infinities are not equal (ask a mathematician!). Only one thing can be bigger than an infinite universe.

An infinite God.

The word numinous means the awesome, incomprehensible, and overwhelming sense of the mysterious, the unknown. It presses in on you, creating both a fear of, and longing for something far beyond yourself. Like the weight of Gods’ glory.

But we forget sometimes how heavy that’s really supposed to be. We become familiar with our own conceptions of who God is. We forget the mystery. We lose the awe, and yes, the fear.

In many ways this is the Jesus I grew up with. I gave my life to the Lord at the age of 29, and it’s been an incredible journey. But I still remember that everything from atoms to galaxies have come from the very nature of His divine imagination. We need to love Him and long for His presence. But we also need to realize that in His incomprehensible and infinite being, both mercy and judgement have their origin. He is both judge and Savior.

If we are to really love Jesus, we must long for His entire nature.

We must also embrace the numinous face of God.