Knowledge – Experiencing Truth
Last night our middle daughter sent a short video of bath-time with our 10 month old grand daughter. It was titled ‘Cutest video of all time,’ and for biased grandparents, this was an appropriate title. The little one was standing inside the bathtub in a few inches of water splashing away and ‘answering’ her mothers questions, posed from across the room.
“Say Papa,” she asked. And the baby responded with a verbal trail of “papa-papa-papa,” that sounded like an old VW running on three cylinders.
“Say Hi Nana.” To which the baby raised an arm and waved toward the camera, saying, “nana-nana-nana,” all the while splashing and dancing and lighting up the little room with her two-tooth smile.
She’s learning. At this point it is mimicking the people she trusts, but pretty soon the knowledge will be hers, personally, taking shape in her mind and heart alongside letters and language, and flavors, shapes, sounds, and feelings. Her little brain will be filled with information, but on a deeper level, the information will uniquely hers because of how it connects to her emotions, her will and her spirit.
In this way the virtues of faith and hope are connected to knowledge. My faith and hope in God can be affirmed in the beauty of a spring flower that explodes from a bloom with brilliant color and heavenly scent that attracts bees and hummingbirds. God’s witness in creation confirms the things I learn about Him from people I trust and I begin to know Him, more than academically, but in the experience of creation, in being surrounded by His Goodness.
The Apostle Paul acknowledged that deep-thinking philosophers were aware of God’s overarching presence in creation in this way. “In Him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:28.
But he is quick to add that God can be known in a deeper way still – deeper than knowing He is there and deeper than experiencing the energy of creation. He told Timothy: “(God our Savior) who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:4-5.
Jesus said that “this is eternal life, that they know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent.” John 17:3
Knowing God, knowing Jesus Christ, in living experience and intimate union, should be our quest in life. It begins as early as conception when grateful, loving parents rejoice and pray for God’s Spirit to bring forth a beautiful, godly life from their union. And it continues (or begins for some people) at their rebirth when they acknowledge the love of our Savior and are buried with Him in baptism and raised, in resurrection power, as He was raised, born again, a new creation in Christ. From there we cultivate our life with Him through prayer, through fasting, meditation in His word, fellowship and communion.
Virtuous knowledge is higher than science and deeper than understanding. It is to experience the love, acceptance and forgiveness of Christ and to know God through the revelation of His Son and the instruction of His Holy Spirit.