Where and When and How God Pleases {Saturdays with Karl Barth}

If the Church is visible, this need not imply that we actually see it in its full compass, that the dimensions of its sphere might not be very different from what we think we know them to be. God may suddenly be pleased to have Abraham blessed by Melchizedek, or Israel blessed by Balaam or helped by Cyrus. Moreover, it could hardly be denied that God can speak His Word to man quite otherwise than through the talk about Himself that is to be found in the Church as known or as yet to be discovered, and therefore quite otherwise than through proclamation. He can establish the Church anew and directly when and where and how it pleases Him. (Barth, Dogmatics, I.1.054)

Ah, yes, we have much need for humility concerning the means and methods of God’s work. We, probably in our arrogance, choose the strong and superior as representatives of His proclamation, while God has been known to use a donkey, a weak man, a leper…yep, even a woman or two. Where and when and how, and I would add–through whom, God pleases!

Lord, please teach us to love your will and ways more than our own. ~Amen.

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