Wednesday, December 09, 2009

What's the big deal about invisibility?

Epiphany” (from the Greek ἐπιφάνεια) means “appearance", "manifestation") and is a season beginning next month that celebrates the occasions when the divine nature of Christ was revealed at various times in the Scripture. Epiphany commemorates such things as the star of Bethlehem and the miracles and transfiguration of Christ. Such things made Christ's identity as God visible during an earthly ministry when His divine nature was usually invisible.

Before Christmas, I again led a Bible Study for a group of blind people. As always, they were a wonderful group with whom to share Christian faith – and you know what? They didn't have a problem with God's invisibility! They didn't have a problem with angels being invisible, Heaven being invisible, all evidence of God's existence being invisible to them – because, as visually handicapped people, everything was invisible to them.

Their faith brought home once more to me the fatuous foolishness of the argument of today's atheists that we believers should be ashamed of our God because He is normally not visible. They say “they don't see the evidence of God” and the burden of proof is with us to show that God is real.

Jesus said, The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit” (John 3.8). Invisibility is part of the realm of faith, but, having said that, faith must “take a number”, because it is but one of countless invisible realities that we live with every day and believe in, at times staking our lives upon, despite not being visible to our eyes.

How many natural (and man-made) phenomena are invisible to you, yet you don't doubt their existence? We use wireless internet – and that signal, like other man-made television, radio and other waves, criss-crossing all over us all the time is invisible. Add to that all natural cosmic radiation and waves and you have a huge amount of reality that is invisible. Now, what about all those things that are too small to see the electrons and protons of atomic physics without which our life would be impossible? Their nature, in addition to being invisible, is largely theoretical!

And how many historical realities are invisible to you? Did you see the local water authority test your drinking water for safety before you poured yourself a glass? How do you know it's safe? And, looking further back, do you see Alexander the Great conquering his vast empire. Do you see America's founding father planning to build a new nation? Were you there to “see” anything that took place before the invention of the photograph? Are you sure the great-great Aunt you had really existed, since you have never seen her? Yes it is absurd to doubt facts of history that are “invisible”. By the same token it is absurd to waste one nano-second doubting the realities of God, let alone jeopardize your eternal salvation, just because they are invisible at the moment. Temporary invisibility really is no big deal!

Instead, this Epiphany and always, thank God that He sent His Son to be our Redeemer and Savior. For He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him” (Colossians 1.15-16).

1 comment:

Dan @ Necessary Roughness said...


And the Christian can say that Christ IS visible: in the Body and the Blood, in the Word, and in the deeds given for us to do in our vocations as a result of the repentance and forgiveness of sins.