Exhortation delivered at New Saint Andrews College Morning Prayer February 24, 2014
I John 3:18-4:6
By wisdom the Lord founded the Earth, by understanding he established the Heavens; by his knowledge the deep broke open, and the clouds dropped down the dew. Think about what’s going on there. While still maintaining an element of mystery, we see a connection of understanding, knowledge, and wisdom with implementation, action, and things happening. Cause and effect. The Lord has wisdom – he founded the Earth. The Lord has understanding – he establishes the Heavens. The attributes of God tangibly express themselves. They are incarnational. Things about God do not exist purely in an abstract, Platonic way. They have manifested themselves to us in the things that we see.
So, when John tells us not to love in word or talk, but in deed and truth, we’re being God-imitators. God’s Word became flesh. God’s Word didn’t stay word. It manifested itself by doing things in the world that we see. So all of our talk, all of our words, all of our, for example, “I love you’s,” are a type of “in the beginning was the Word.” In the beginning was the proposition “I love you,” but it can’t simply stop there. It must not stop there. It has to manifest itself into things seen. So, the question becomes how does your “I love you” become flesh? How does it manifest itself in what it does?
You, as NSA students, are particularly blessed to be in this community. And you will no doubt walk away with a lot of knowledge and a lot of understanding. You’re growing in these things daily, and for you to even be here indicates that you have a measure of these things already. I’m continually astounded by the level of ability which NSA students possess. It’s humbling to me. So the exhortation is this: take that knowledge, take that understanding and don’t keep it to yourself. Don’t restrict that understanding to formal abstractions. Do something with it. Find ways to serve, to love your friends, family, church better. Find ways to do this and as John says, “you will know that you’re of the truth and you will reassure your heart before God.”