In part or in full

Monday Musings for March 04, 2019

Good morning, Musers,

We could all spend more time praising God — in part or in full… but what part? His goodness? His mercy? His Justice? His grace? His adenoids?

Now, I wish I could say I was a prayer warrior… but I’d be lying. I make up for it, though… by being a practical prayer… and that’s not nothing! In fact, I’m so practical that my prayers auto-adjust to fit my circumstances.

When I am sick and then get well, I praise God for his healing. When I escape imminent danger, I praise God for his protection… and when I’ve had a particularly sinful week, I praise God for his mercy… but I never praise Jesus’ blood. I’m thankful for it… make no mistake! I just don’t single it out.

Today’s question challenged me to consider God’s parts — and don’t explode here. I know God doesn’t have parts. He has aspects. But, judging by the way people talk about Jesus’ blood, I’m not sure everyone understands this. You see, I get nervous when people force the blood into a prayer… but especially when they treat it like a separate commodity rather than as an integral part of the atonement.

The Jews — having escaped polytheism — reveled in their one God. “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Deuteronomy 6:4, NIV)… but this can also mean that God is not divided. That being said, the Jews were very aware that God had aspects. For instance, God was known for being like a husband to Israel and being a mighty hand in her defense. But these emphases didn’t assault his oneness.

So, how is Jesus’ blood different? Jesus’ blood was not an aspect of his being; it was part of his physical body… and as such, I’m not comfortable with it being held out separately as a target of praise. I could be all wet here… but I have my reasons for saying this… and that’s the flow of today’s question.

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