Last month, I had the opportunity to spend a weekend with Father Ed Oakes of Mundelein Seminary near Chicago as a part of a Lausanne sponsored conversation between Catholics and Protestants on reconciliation in the Church.
On the first evening, Dr. Oakes gave a captivating lecture on the centrality of Christ in all things, or Christocentrism, as Pope John Paul II put it.
Christocentrism is the understanding that Jesus Christ is at the center (and is THE center) of the cosmos and all of human history–that the eternal Word (or Logos) is that by which ALL THINGS is held together for all eternity (Col. 1:17).
The lecture reminded me of just how massive and important God really is.
However, Dr. Oakes also just finished a massive book called, “Infinity Dwindled to Infancy: A Catholic and Evangelical Christology.” The phrase “Infinity Dwindled to Infancy” was first used in a poem by Jesuit poet Gerard Manley Hopkins where he reminds us of just how small God can be.
The idea of the incarnation (God becoming flesh in the person of Jesus Christ) is mind-blowing to me. The incarnation takes my finite understanding of an infinite God and places him within the bounds of human flesh and bone, emotion and intellect, and lays Him ever so softly within an infant born nearly 2,000 years ago whose name was Emanuel (or God with us).
God is that big to be able to make Himself that small.
However, I think in our placing God ABOVE all things (as we should AND He IS) we tend to forget that God was also pleased to place all His fullness WITHIN Christ (Col. 1:19).
And not just in the person of Jesus Christ any longer, but now IN US as well (Col. 1:27)!
Yes, I marvel when my mind can step outside of time for a minute and dwell on how infinitely big God is. However, my jaw drops open in child-like wonder and amazement when I think about how Infinity Himself now dwells within me as if I’m the only person on the planet.
Infinity dwindled to Idiocracy in my case, I suppose–but true nonetheless.
Sure, there are other people on the planet and yes I’m not that important. However, God is that big to be that small and insignificant.
He’s that big to choose to reside fully in me (and you) as He did in Christ through the power of His Holy Spirit. He’s that big to focus each day on you–and only you, while at the same time doing the same thing for 7 other billion people and all of creation (Lk. 12:22-30). He’s that big to have a tailor-made, custom-fit discipleship (or spiritual growth plan) just for you and will complete it in you if it’s the last thing He’ll ever do (Phil. 1:6).
God’s that big, to be that small.
Do you believe this today?