Just a couple weeks ago I had a high school senior, just about to graduate, ask me, "Why do I continue to seek the approval of certain people when I know they are going to treat me poorly?" I ultimately said that the instinct was good, but that sin is real and people are going to hurt us, sometimes deeply. But to focus on what is good there can lead us to today's celebration.
We all seek to be known by others, because we seek to be loved by others. This basic instinct is hard-wired into our human nature because God made us in His image and likeness. This was more mysterious to the Jews than it is to us, because we know through God's revelation that the Lord is Trinity, three in one, and therefore is a communion of persons. God is relationship, not of domination and tyranny, but of love, and he made us for that very same type of relationship. Of course with others, but also with Him. As we see in the story of Adam and Eve, God wishes to slowly draw us into our primary relationship with Him through the way we encounter our fellow men and women around us.
We are also hard-wired for mystery. Whether it is mystery novels, trivia shows, puzzles games, or more deeply wondering at the natural world around us, we are all given a deep and unquenchable thirst for truth. Ultimately, the thirst within us cannot be satisfied with this natural world and the knowledge we can gain from it. What we over time discover is that, despite all the good this world offers, it never satisfies the way that relationships do, the way that love does. Indeed love, seen most perfectly in marriage and true friendship, is the one thing that can fully satisfy our hearts. Love for love's sake, nothing else, no kick-backs or fringe-benefits - that alone is what begins to truly quench that thirst within us. And why? Because God made us for Himself, and God is love. So when we encounter true love in our lives, we touch God. We love, and we feel a draw toward something eternal - that is our triune God. We discover a truth about the world or about our lives, and we touch something that is beyond - that is the triune God.
So that deepest truth, that deepest mystery, that hidden God, actually
is not hiding - throughout the Old Testament and especially in Jesus
Christ, we see that God wants to be known by us, because He loves us and knows our true happiness is with Him alone. Yet God isn't too forceful with that desire to be known and loved, for love must be earned and built up over time. Not unlike us, he allows the relationship to slowly unfold - not disclosing too much at once, but rather waiting for us to share ourselves one bit at a time so that He can open Himself to us more and more. In this beautiful dance of love, let us never be afraid to seek out this God we were made for. Let us ever fear that He will leave us wanting or unsatisfied. And above all, let us thank the loving Lord God who created us to discover Him, to be close to Him, and to love Him now and into eternity.