There is a poem that was made popular by Corrie Ten Boom called “Life is but a Weaving” (the Tapestry Poem). In this poem God is the great weaver of the tapestry of our lives. I heard a variation on that “theme” by C. Baxter Kruger. He was relating a story of a Grandfather who was a carpet weaver. He was a master weaver who produced incredible masterpieces. His grandson was eager to assist his granddad. The Grandfather tells his grandson to start weaving on one end of the carpet while he works from the other side. The little boy makes mistake after mistake but keeps working away. When they meet in the middle the boy is amazed to discover a beautiful piece of art. You can’t tell where he stopped and the Grandfather began. All along the Grandfather had been anticipating and incorporating the mistakes of the boy into his work. The result was a seamless, continuous masterpiece of delight.
I really love that picture. This is what Jesus did when He was incarnated. He wove Himself into the fabric of mankind and the cosmos. All things were made by Him, in Him all things move and have their being, and in Him is all the fullness of God. He joined Himself to us in our darkness to bring His light. He frees us from the power of a lost identity in Sin (the noun) and makes us a new creation with an identity in Jesus. He is still weaving the tapestry of our lives with us and in us and us in Him with the Father and the Holy Spirit. It is a life dance of romance where my mistakes He has anticipated and incorporated into the fabric of my identity.
God is so amazing that He can roll around with me in the mud and get me clean. He is so loving that He takes my rebellion and uses it to reveal Himself. Like the Prodigal son He finances my rejection of Him to have me find the pig pen. There He reveals Himself as the loving Father with the provision and love to save me from my rebellion. He isn’t disgusted or put off or surprised at all by my mistakes and my stupidity and my arrogance and my Prodigal tendencies. He is love. I am united with Him in His life in His family in His perfection in His glorious relationship as a triune Holy God. The definition of His Holiness is His unique relationship. It is a one of kind relationship that He brings all of us into. He looks across the circle and sees His son who is mankind itself. I am there in Him. God says “behold my beloved son” and He is talking to me.
Religion formed from the fallen mind of a fallen Adam has us deceived into believing God is far off and not part of our lives. Instead of sitting across from us at the weaver’s table or dancing with us in His divine beauty or reminding us of our son-ship…the false god is off on planet X recording our mistakes with lightning bolts or torture and fury. That mythology is what the ancients believed about God. They were not only living rebellious like the Prodigal they were trying to impress a god and move a god with whatever penance or sacrifice they could muster. The fallen Adamic condition is one of trying to close a gap that doesn’t exist.
That is why mankind was so frustrated by the law.
The frustration of men trying to get to God through the law is a purpose of the law. Instead of removing the perceived barrier of sin by human effort, the law gave Sin power. The law actually drove is further from Him. It wasn’t the recognition of our sin that God was after but the recognition of our complete inadequacy in trying to be worthy of his family through our effort. Let me be clear. The increase of sin was not the purpose but a necessary and expected result. The total depravity of our ability to rescue ourselves was the soil of the seed of redemption. We may not or even still don’t know how badly we need a savior from ourselves but we know how much we need to be included in God’s eternal plan. We were made for that inclusion.
We may continue to sin until we discover its destructive nature. We can’t live however, apart from life. In that perfect relationship we will find the destructive nature of sin repulsive. We desperately need a father and a family. That is why Jesus included us without our permission. We would have continued down the path of self-effort forever. We would never give in to the loving kindness of God because of our deceived image of Him. Now we are in Him and included and loved. Now I can open up and share my wounds and sins and all the rest. Now I can sit at the weaver’s table and participate in the creation of a masterpiece. Check out these verses from the Mirror translation:
Romans 3:20 The law proofs all of mankind equally guilty and confirms that their most sincere duty-driven decision and ‘self-help’ program could not improve their condition before God. 3:21 But now we are talking a complete different language: the gospel unveils what God did right not what man did wrong! Both the law and all the prophetic writings pointed to this moment! 3:22 Jesus is what God believes about mankind. In him the righteousness of God is on display in such a way that all may be equally persuaded about what God believes about them, regardless of who they are; there is no distinction. 3:23 Everyone is in the same boat; their distorted behavior is proof of a lost blueprint. 3:24 Jesus Christ is proof of God’s grace gift; he redeemed the glory of God in human life; mankind condemned is now mankind justified because of the ransom paid by Christ Jesus! (The Mirror Translation)
Our revelation of this truth is seen through the glasses of faith.
This is what Abraham saw. His faith in God’s faithfulness is what made their right relationship possible. Abraham had no concept of the law of Moses. He had no concept of a relationship based on rules. His relationship was based solely on trust. Even His “obedience” to climb mount Moriah was an opportunity for God to show His mercy and Grace and provision. God wanted to show Abraham that He could be trusted. God wasn’t testing Abraham to see if Abraham could be trusted.
Imagine for a moment a guy like Abraham, a moon worshipper from the deepest of pagan tradition. He came from the same region as Babylon. The tower of Babel was constructed there. Abraham wasn’t special or unique. Is it possible that what set Abraham apart was God and not Abraham’s character? What if our understanding of Abraham has been anthropomorphic centered instead of God centered? What if Abraham was no different from us other than His willingness to trust a God who revealed His faithfulness? More from the Mirror:
Romans 4:1 If we look at our father Abraham as an example and scrutinize his life, would you say that he discovered any reason for placing confidence in the flesh through personal contribution? (What qualified Abraham to be the father of the multitudes of nations? The only part he played was his unwavering belief in God’s faith in him.) 4:2 If he felt that his friendship with God was a reward for good behavior, then surely he would have reason to recommend the recipe; yet it is plain to see that it was all God’s initiative from start to finish! 4:3 Scripture is clear, “Abraham believed what God believed about him and that concluded his righteousness.” 4:4 There is a large difference between a reward and a gift: if you have earned something through hard work; what you receive in return is your due and certainly not a gift. 4:5 It is clear then that someone who believes that God declares the ungodly innocent understands that it is faith and not our toil that accounts for righteousness. (The Mirror Translation)
Our inclusion in His family is our seat at the weaver’s table. His resurrection from the tomb is our proof that God is faithful. His death on a cross is our entrance into His life as He included us in His death. Our merger with the divine is undeniable, unmistakable and only seen through faith. Our perfect relationship with our perfectly loving family is glory itself. Our position in the Kingdom is the Kingdom expressed. Jesus has faith in us and His faith is our source of faith:
Romans 3:26 All along God refused to let go of man. At this very moment God’s act of righteousness is pointing mankind to the evidence of their innocence, with Jesus as the source of their faith. (The Mirror Translation)
Your faith to see this begins with sitting down at the weaver’s table and looking across at your Father. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus to you from within you. He is already there. Don’t believe me, ask Him.