In Dangerous Calling David Tripp warns every pastor of losing his awe of God. Tripp quotes an address by Benjamin Warfield:
Other men, oppressed by the hard conditions of life, sunk in the daily struggle for bread perhaps, distracted at any rate by the dreadful drag of the world upon them and the awful rush of the world’s work, find it hard to get time and opportunity so much as to pause and consider whether there be such things as God, and religion, and salvation from the sin that compasses them about and holds them captive. The very atmosphere of your life is these things; you breathe them in at every pore: they surround you, encompass you, press in upon you from every side. It is all in danger of becoming common to you! God forgive you, you are in danger of becoming weary of God! (114)
Our hands are constantly touching holy things. Like Nadab and Abihu, we carelessly play with fire whenever we forget how awesome these things are! Our occupational hazard is treating the divinely profound as humanly profane. We are desperately poorer for the exchange!
Last Sunday John 1:14-18 was given the unenviable assignment of focusing our ADHD hearts on the wonders of Bethlehem long after the world considers Christmas passé.
What a text to ponder when our awe of God is on back-order! John bids us ponder the miracle of the incarnation by tweaking the usual word order so as to place side by side two words that should be worlds apart: λόγος and σάρξ. It is beyond our grasp how the infinite Creator could take on our creaturely flesh as a full and real brother without forfeiting his boundless divine grandeur.
Pondering such truth beyond our grasp restores our awe: for down this impossible path God brings us one blessing after another (16). This impossible λόγος- and-σάρξ One plants his tent (14) squarely into the midst of our sin and pain and all the ugliness of a sin-distorted world. His reward for tenting among us? Breathing our poisoned air (CW 400:3). In exchange, new life of grace and truth is breathed in our direction (17) as the suddenly seen Son exegetes for us the unseen God (18).
To ponder that readies us again to handle every text of Scripture with holy hands. It enables us to tread with reverence into the Holy of Holies knowing that each text offers connecting corollaries to expound what it means that the λόγος made σάρξ has tented with us and never leaves.