Grace and greatness - Hope 103.2

Grace and greatness

By David ReayFriday 11 Apr 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 145:13-16

13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

         and your dominion endures throughout all generations.

      The LORD is faithful in all his words,

         and gracious in all his deeds.
14 The LORD upholds all who are falling,
         and raises up all who are bowed down.
15 The eyes of all look to you,
         and you give them their food in due season.
16 You open your hand,
         satisfying the desire of every living thing. (NRSV)

Theologians use many words to describe God. Two of the common words are ‘transcendence’ and ‘immanence’. To speak of God’s transcendence is to describe his greatness,his majesty,his holiness,his otherness. To speak of God’s immanence is to describe his nearness,his kindness,his grace.

God is neither some distant supreme being serenely detached from his people,or simply a nice fatherly figure who keeps us company when we are lonely. He is utterly holy and utterly loving. He is supremely great and supremely gracious. He is above and beyond our world yet deeply involved in it.

We dare not try to resolve this tension by stressing one feature at the expense of the other. As in this Psalm,we take God as he is. A God who is kind enough to engage with us in our humanity,and a God who is great enough to help us. He neither exercises brute power or helplessly wrings his hands over our predicament.

He is mighty,but not ‘high and mighty’. He rules the entire universe and yet has time for each and every individual’s concerns. Why would anyone settle for any other God?

David Reay