By now, some of my readers know that my husband’s blog, Pneumythology, (the name of which I came up with, BTW, just sayin’…or I guess you can blame me, whichever), has much to do with equating mythology with everyday life. As such, he writes and reviews about graphic novels, superhero movies, and so the upcoming Wonder Wonder flick is high on the summer watch list in my house. I’m sure there will plenty of pyrotechnics and the zinging of bullets and explosions of unrealistic proportions.
Then there’s real life. He really does clean the bathroom and load the dishwasher. (#he’smineyoucan’thavehim)
However, in the midst of the mundane, we both actually believe in a mythology, not in the sense of make-believe fairy tales, as in Greek and Roman trying-to-make-sense-of-nature stories. I mean the epic, the there’s-got-to-be-more-than-I-see life, a reality the supersedes my sensate tangibles and my abilities to understand. And, occasionally, “it” pokes through the fabric of even our ordinary humanity…
Evidently, this happened more than occasionally to Moses.
“But when you heard the voice from the heart of the darkness, while the mountain was blazing with fire, all your tribal leaders and elders came to me. They said, ‘Look, the LORD our God has shown us his glory and greatness, and we have heard his voice from the heart of the fire. Today we have seen that God can speak to us humans, and yet we live! But now, why should we risk death again? If the LORD our God speaks to us again, we will certainly die and be consumed by this awesome fire. Can any living thing hear the voice of the living God from the heart of the fire as we did and yet survive? Go yourself and listen to what the LORD our God says. Then come and tell us everything he tells you, and we will listen and obey.’
And if you’ve read the rest of the story, we all know how long that lasted.
Yet, God seemed okay with this plan. Unfortunately, the people’s historic track record with this kind of communication/obedience pattern fell pretty short. Second-party information can sometimes be just that—information. Head knowledge instead of heart knowledge. “What”, instead of “how” and “why”. Information bereft of application. Experience without wisdom. And all that boils down to legalism or license, both of which are deadly as poison.
Enter the new covenant, with the Holy Spirit, A.K.A., the Paraclete, translated for us as Helper. And, boy, do we need help, especially with the application part. At least the Hebrew people, quaking in their sandals at the foot of the mountain, had a glimpse of the power and awesomeness that they were dealing with (and probably more than a few had to clean themselves off when arriving back at their tents.) We, unfortunately, are generally not graced with that sense of awe, but instead with a smug arrogance of self-sufficiency, even without our Christian context. Got the marching orders, thanks Lord, I’ll take it from here! (Ouch.)
We really don’t know What (Who) we’re dealing with here. But part of the good news is—we can.
“Those who accept my commandments and obey them are the ones who love me. And because they love me, my Father will love them. And I will love them and reveal myself to each of them.”
And part of the important news is, as a disciple of Jesus—I must.
Because as Peter Parker’s uncle told the young and upcoming superhero Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
Not bad wisdom for a myth.
Deuteronomy 5: 23-27; John 14:21 Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.