Something Else to Think About: Transcendence
by Dr. Dan Sharp, Minister of Worship
When you think of “transcendence” where does your mind go? Blank?
When we consider this word in light of God, we may even go “blanker!” Our God is, in many ways, beyond what we can imagine.
“My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways” as the Scripture reads.
With transcendence comes mystery, wonder, awe, some fear. God is not tame. He is kind and good and tender at times, but He is not tame. He is definitely not the kindly old grandfather in the sky! He is often portrayed with fire in the Bible; the giving of the Ten Commandments on Mt. Sinai, the pillar of fire which led the Israelites in the desert, the chariot of fire taking Elijah to heaven, to cite a few.
The writer of Hebrews remarks, “Our God is a consuming fire.” Fire can bring warmth as well as severe judgment. Though we love God’s immanence, we dare not forget His awe-filled transcendence when we gather for worship.
This is another of the “both ands” of the Christian faith.