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. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, if indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the gospel that you heard, which has been proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, became a minister (Col 1:15-23).
I’ve always enjoyed horror. I love scary movies! And I mean actually scary, not movies that are just a series of jump scares—those are startle-y, not scary. It takes nothing to startle someone; just sudden movement or a loud noise.
An early author of the modern horror genre was H.P. Lovecraft. Most people don’t see what’s so scary about Lovecraft. He’s almost more hard sci-fi than real horror, to them. His stories tend to focus on discovering something that is utterly beyond human comprehension, something sanity-blasting. If you’ve ever played the game Munchkin, the monster “Unspeakably Awful Indescribable Horror” is an homage to Lovecraft: that’s the sort of thing he wrote about all the time.
Lovecraft’s horror is an existential horror. It’s the horror of insignificance. People are generally positive that humanity will figure things out. Those who follow scientism, the belief that science can solve any problem and answer any question (never mind questions that are not scientific by their very nature; those somehow get answered by science) believe that humanity will continue to grow and evolve and to truly grasp the amazing truth of the universe.
Lovecraft’s horror is in the destruction of such a hope. In Lovecraft, there are things in the universe that even exposure to them destroys the human mind. He deals with things that are older than humanity and will continue to exist long after humanity is extinct. The horror in Lovecraft is not in thinking that you might die, but the knowledge that whether you live or die is entirely devoid of meaning because these great cosmic entities exist. They may kill, but they generally do so entirely without malice, because the characters they kill are of absolutely no value to them.
It is interesting to consider this perspective. Because we worship a cosmic entity of a sort, one that is even farther beyond Lovecraft’s mighty cosmic gods as they are beyond us. Lovecraft’s beings are ancient and powerful so as to seem unlimited to us, but they are limited. The God we worship is truly unlimited.
So often you hear people say, “Why would an infinite god actually care about us and what we do? Doesn’t he have better things to do?” They take the view that, if a god exists, it must be like Lovecraft’s cosmic entities: so utterly beyond us that we have no meaning to it. But it is the very unlimited nature of God that means that He can care about us. A truly all-powerful and unlimited God doesn’t have limits on his resources, or His care!
Whereas the secular perspective believes we lose value in the face of God because we are incomparable to such a being, God says of Himself that He gives us value for that very same reason!
We worship the true God, the God who has no limits on what He can do—or on what He can care about.
He is the God who created all things. The observable universe is 93 billion light years across, full of the most amazing things before which we seem utterly insignificant. Yet because God is so much greater, He is able to give us true significance!
And not only that, but He chooses to involve Himself with us. He took on our frail, tiny form, and took it to its limit and died. Then He raised it again and ascended into Heaven. Why? Because He could and because He cares.
He continues to speak to us today. He routinely does miracles, healing the sick and even raising the dead every day. Despite the distance between us, He is not distant, but chooses to live within you, talk with you, and love you.
This is the God we serve!
Does He seem distant right now? He’s not; He’s right there with you. Does it seem like He isn’t paying attention? He is; He’s right there with you. Does it seem like you’re stuck, like you have no hope? You’re not stuck; God has already freed you! You have hope: God has already given it to you!
Walk in that today, and for the rest of the week, and for the rest of your life. Jesus is the Good News: you are free! Go be free!
All views expressed on this blog are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the view of Chi Alpha Campus Ministries, U.S.A., U.S. Missions, and The General Council of the Assemblies of God.