The task is odd, almost illogical. Well, it IS illogical.
This is part of Paul’s prayer:
18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. (Eph. 3:18,19)
It’s like saying, “I want you to know something you can’t know… but you’ll know it when you realize it’s past knowing…”
Our call to partakers of the divine nature is immense. It is truly beyond the ability to put into a formula and “know.”
This is the boldness we need. We need the boldness to climb the mountain we can’t conquer. We can never fully know God, but why should that stop us from making the attempt?
The Orthodox teaching on theosis is still far beyond me. It is so hard to grasp what is being said, mainly because of my current theological training. Yet, it is a doctrine that is taught carefully and with wisdom. THIS ARTICLE helps me.
The author quote C.S. Lewis, which also helps:
C. S. Lewis understood this concept and expressed it compellingly in Mere Christianity:
The command “Be ye perfect” is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were “gods” and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, dazzling, radiant, immortal creatures, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to Him perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) His own boundless power and delight and goodness. The process will be long and in parts very painful; but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what he said. (Macmillan, 1952, p. 174)
As I walk through Holy Week this year, I am struck again by the call to follow Christ more fully… and allow his fullest work to be done in me.
I invite you to read on in this article because he references St. Seraphim of Sarov, an Orthodox holy man who had an extraordinary experience recorded by one of his disciples. It’s an experience that is “hard to believe,” yet every time I read it, there is something that resonates with me. There is a longing to have THAT communion with Christ.
Lord, I do not walk closely enough with you. The call this week is a beautiful invitation. Let me walk closely!
There are a couple of blogs I have not yet added to my blogroll, but enjoy reading. I will then follow some of their blogrolls, which led me to one by Michael J Gorman. This post on Theosis was a good one. I deeply admire the Eastern Orthodox tradition and this post answers some great questions.