That Men May See It.


“The life of which I have now spoken became light to men in the appearing of Him in whom it came into being. The life became light that men might see it, and themselves live by choosing that life also, by choosing so to live, such to be.

There is always something deeper than anything said—a something of which all human, all divine words, figures, pictures, motion-forms, are but the outer laminar spheres through which the central reality shines more or less plainly. Light itself is but the poor outside form of a deeper, better thing, namely life. The life is Christ. The light too is Christ, but only the body of Christ. The life is Christ Himself. The light is what we see and shall see in Him; the life is what we may be in Him.

Therefore the obedient human God appeared as the obedient divine man, doing the works of His Father–the things, that is, which His Father did—doing them humbly before unfriendly brethren. The Son of the Father must take His own form in the substance of flesh, that He may be seen of men, and so become the light of men—not that men may have light, but that men may have life. Seeing what they could not originate, they may, through the life that is in them, begin to hunger after the life of which they are capable, and which is essential to their being.

Let us not forget that the devotion of the Son could never have been but for the devotion of the Father, who never seeks His own glory one atom more than does the Son; who is devoted to the Son, and to all His sons and daughters, with a devotion perfect and eternal, with fathomless unselfishness. The bond of the universe, the fact at the root of every vision, revealing that ‘love is the only good in the world,’ and selfishness the one thing hateful, in the city of the living God unutterable, is the devotion of the Son to the father. It is the life of the universe..”

“But light is not enough; light is for the sake of life. We too must have life in ourselves. We too must, like the Life Himself, live. We can live in no way but that in which Jesus lived, in which life was made in Him. That way is, to give up our life. This is the one supreme action of life possible to us for the making of life in ourselves. Christ did it of Himself, and so became light to us, that we might be able to do it in ourselves, after Him, and through His originating act.

We must do it ourselves, I say. The help that He has given and gives, the light and the spirit-working of the Lord, the Spirit, in our hearts, is all in order that we may, as we must, do it ourselves. Till then we are not alive; life is not made in us. The whole strife and labour and agony of the Son with every man, is to get him to die as He died, All preaching that aims not at this, is a building with wood and hay and stubble. If I say not with whole heart, ‘My Father, do with me as you will, only help me against myself and for you,’ then I have not yet laid hold upon that for which Christ had laid hold upon me.

The faith that a man must put in God reaches above earth and sky, stretches beyond the farthest outlying star of the createable universe. The question is not at present, however, of removing mountains, a thing that will one day be simple to us, but of waking and rising from the dead now. When a man truly and perfectly says with Jesus, and as Jesus said it, “Thy will be done,” he closes the everlasting life-circle. The life of the Father and the Son flows through him. He is a part of the divine organism. Then is the prayer of the Lord in him fulfilled: ‘I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one.’

Friends, those of you who know, or suspect, that these things are true, let us arise and live—arise even in the darkest moments of spiritual stupidity, when hope itself sees nothing to hope for. Let us not trouble ourselves about the cause of our earthliness, except we know it to be some unrighteousness in us, but go at once to the Life.

Let us comfort ourselves in the thought of the Father and the Son. So long as there dwells harmony, so long as the Son loves the Father with all the love the Father can welcome, all is well with the little ones. God is all right—why should we mind standing in the dark for a minute outside His window? Of course we miss the inness, but there is a bliss of its own in waiting.

What if the rain be falling, and the wind blowing? What if we stand alone, or more painful still, have some dear one beside us, sharing our outness? What even if the window be not shining, because of the curtains of good inscrutable drawn across it? Let us think to ourselves, or say to our friend, “God is; Jesus is not dead. Nothing can be going wrong, however it may look so to hearts unfinished in childness.”

Your will, O God, be done! Nought else is other than loss, than decay, than corruption. There is no life but that born of the life that the Word made in Himself by doing your will, which life is the light of men. Through that light is born the life of men—the same life in them that came first into being in Jesus. As He laid down His life, so must men lay down their lives, that as He lives they may live also. That which was made in Him was life, and the light of men; and yet His own, to whom He was sent, did not believe Him.”

[excerpt from Unspoken Sermons, The Creation in Christ by George MacDonald]