“I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people.” (Luke 2:10.)
Good tidings of great joy; what a wonderful turn of a phrase. It is like the truth of the Christmas Star. The truth is poetic, not scientific, like the rainbow’s promise. The Star’s truth is its peculiar manifestation, as God desires it, not the facts of its parts or generation of its path. The rainbow bears witness to God’s fidelity, the Star led to the Christ Child.
The truth of man’s relationship with God is also peculiar and individual, though not individualistic. A mystery the Old Testament saints comprehended was that of covenant. God made promises to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and to their descendants collectively. The same relationship of the communal is seen in the New Testament ecclesia (the church). There are many promises and myriad truths faithfully recorded in the Bible. The Teacher, the Holy Spirit, is happily available to all askers, seekers, and knockers.
When we look out upon creation; things living and un-living, others of our kind, of beauty, space, color, and oceans we see the Word of God manifested. “The invisible things of Him are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20.) And when we open up our Bible, we see the miracle of God-breathed writings inviting us to read, to hear, and to understand this Word of Revelation, this love-letter from God admonishing, correcting, warning, and instructing.
And when believer’s earnestly desire a truth, a direction, a comfort, we find already there within our heart the Word made living by the Holy Spirit of God. Should we ever despair of drifting apart from truth may we never forget the unction that Jesus proclaimed; “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” (John 14:6) “What is truth?” the Roman governor Pontius Pilate carelessly asked. (John 18:38) That question may still be found on the lips of millions of people.
I borrow from George MacDonald, b. 1824. ‘A flower has facts of existence, the stem, the root, the leaves, its own biology, but the truth of the flower is the flower itself abiding in its unique beauty and birthing something unique from a small grubby hand to a mother’s eyes and heart. Why do we plant flowers? We plant them because they are true. Water - water has facts of hydrogen and oxygen, density and temperature. But the truth of water is in itself, how it feels, how it cleanses, the sounds it makes running over rocks, the stillness it provides in a deep dark pool - the thirst it quenches.’
The truth of water is essential to our physical being and in some mystical way perhaps the flower is also. In any event, as the flower is the truth of the flower and as water is the truth of water so Jesus is the Truth of the Universe and all existence and of all that is finally, man. Had Pilate known what truth was, would he have turned his back indifferently upon the One True Man, consigning Him to the wishes of the mob?
Jesus is the light that shines in darkness, the Incarnate Word setting crooked things straight. Truth is in His creative love which leaps with glorious splendor from the foundations of time. Truth is the Agape which comes to fruition in His Person, the eternally begotten, joyfully obedient Son, whom the Father eternally, inexorably loves. Whatever is thought or exclaimed to be of or about the Father that is unlike the Son, Jesus Christ, is error.