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Robin Parry is the husband of but one wife (Carol) and the father of the two most beautiful girls in the universe (Hannah and Jessica). He also has a lovely cat called Monty (who has only three legs). Living in the city of Worcester, UK, he works as an Editor for Wipf and Stock — a US-based theological publisher. Robin was a Sixth Form College teacher for 11 years and has worked in publishing since 2001 (2001–2010 for Paternoster and 2010– for W&S).

Thursday, 29 May 2014

"Return to Sender" (musings on the weirdness of worship)

I was reading Revelation 5 this morning and paused to puzzle over a familiar passage (vv. 11–12):
Then I looked, and I heard around the throne and the living creatures and the elders the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice,
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain,
to receive power and wealth and wisdom and might
and honour and glory and blessing!” (ESV)
Why would the Lamb (and elsewhere, God the Father) need to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honour, glory, and blessing?

Is he lacking in any of these things?

Does he not already possess them in their fulness?

What, in other words, are God's creatures giving him that is not already his?

Here is what popped into my head — and I claim no more for it than that:

All the power and wealth and wisdom and might and honour and glory and blessing belong to God's Be-ing. They are part of the divine fulness. However, creation, by the will of God, lives and moves and has its be-ing in God. God allows creation to participate, to varying degrees, in Godself. (This notion will need a careful explication.)

Creation is from God
Creation is through God
AND
Creation is to God

So wisdom and power and glory (etc.) come from and through God to creation, but they only reach their perfection, their goal, their telos, when they are surrendered back to God. They only become fully what they are when the circuit is completed; when we go with the grain of the universe and orientate ourselves correctly towards the creator; when we cast our crowns before him — the crowns that he himself bestowed upon us.

So the giving of glory, wisdom, and power (etc.) to God is not to supply a lack in God, but to bring creation to its divine perfection and goal, so that the whole earth can be full of the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

3 comments:

Marc said...

This is wonderful. Great thoughts.

Kelvin said...

Might this not simply be a declaration that everything should be surrendered to God? All glory, honour etc that is given by Man to Man ought to be given to God in an act of total surrender.

Robin Parry said...

Kevin, sure. But I am suggesting that this glory and honour comes, in the first instance, from God to humanity.