Is Christ Cosmic?

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Sunday entries are taken from the classic devotional series In Christ by E. Stanley Jones.

CONSIDER THIS

A refugee from North Korea to South Korea, an elder of the Presbyterian Church, and an artist, produced a very remarkable picture of Christ—remarkable in detail and conception. It has to be seen to be believed. In a space of three feet by four feet of canvas he has written by hand the whole of the New Testament in minute letters in English. There are approximately 185,000 words, with about a thousand words in a line. Out of these words arises the full-length figure of Christ. The figure is produced by inking some words more heavily than the others. Out of the words arises the Word. Out of the gospels arises the Gospel. He Himself is the good news.

Around the figure of Christ are twenty-seven little angels, all looking toward Him, some with folded hands in adoration. These twenty-seven little angels represent the twenty-seven books of the New Testament. They are all looking at Him, bringing out the fact that the whole New Testament brings out the Person of Christ—it all looks at Him, the Center.

This fits in with Paul’s description of the Christian faith:

Great indeed . . . is the mystery of our religion: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory. (1 Tim. 3:16)

Note: “our religion: He . . .” One would have thought it would be “our religion: It . . .” Our religion is not an “it”—a system of thought, worship, ritual, institutions—these are built up around the Person of Christ and may be more or less Christian. Our religion is “He.” We may get caught in the system of thought, worship, ritual, and institutions and never get to a saving contact with the personal Christ. If so, we are this side of salvation. For salvation is in Christ, and not in the system built up around Him.

THE PRAYER

O Christ, we pant to get beyond forms to the Form, to go from the good to the Good. We who are personal cannot rest this side of the Personal. So take us by the hand and lead us to Thyself. Amen.

AFFIRMATION FOR THE DAY

The words of Scripture take me beyond the words to the Word—the Word Made Flesh.

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Eli Stanley Jones was an evangelical Methodist missionary to India who sought to make a clear distinction between biblical Christianity and Western culture. For 70 years, Dr. E. Stanley Jones proclaimed the Gospel of Christ throughout the world, earning him the title of "the world's greatest missionary evangelist" by Time magazine in 1938, the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1963, and two Nobel Peace Prize nominations during his lifetime. An author of 29 books, he moved among statesmen and among leaders as counselor, friend, and worker for peace and helped hundreds of thousands, from village outcasts in India to molders of public opinion in America, Japan, Europe, and India.

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