Divine Mind and His Word
Thursday of Pentecost 15
1 September 2016
How easily we humans are distracted. A restless child in church takes our mind off the sermon as we recall struggling in the pew with our own small children. While thinking of the number of sermons we once missed all or most of, we have missed all or most of the sermon today. The continuous competition for our attention is fierce; advertisers, politicians, merchants, social media, and preachers are all clamoring to control a precious moment of our attention. I often feel torn in several directions at the same time and am unable to do justice to any of them.
We have difficulty juggling the disparate and urgent demands on our time. Some talented people can consider and hold simultaneously in the forefront of their consciousness two or three things at the same time. I am not one of those. While my attention is drawn one direction it cannot consider going another. I have a "one track mind" and the train on it can easily be derailed. Even the fact that I can think about my own mind and its workings as though they are objects able to be considered shows the weakness of the human mind. Self-awareness is often taken as a sign of true and full humanity and perhaps it is. However, the fact that such a division is possible to the human mind, could just as easily be seen as a sign of inadequate ratiocination; especially if the divine mind is the model for a properly working human mind (Phil 2:4-6).
God knows and thinks about everything all the time. He is never distracted as we are. His thinking is who He is and in the holy Trinity each person shares the knowledge and wisdom of the other two persons. Thus whatever God has revealed to us about Himself is ever the shared will of all three persons of the holy Trinity. His self-awareness is not an object of itself, as it is with us. So the divine will has a perfect unity and leads to God's carrying out our salvation with perfect harmony within the godhead. He knows us with both desire and effect so that the Father's will is made complete in the death of His Son made flesh for us. God is never distracted from our need, not even if we are distracted from Him.

Rev. Dr. Scott R. Murray
Memorial Lutheran Church

Augustine of Hippo
"The Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, in all things like and equal to the Father, God of God, Light of Light, Wisdom of Wisdom, Essence of Essence, is altogether that which the Father is, yet is not the Father, because the one is Son and the other is Father. Therefore the Son knows all that the Father knows; but to Him to know, as to be, is from the Father, for to know and to be is one for them. And therefore, as to be is not to the Father from the Son, so neither is to know. Accordingly, as though uttering Himself, the Father begets the Word equal to Himself in all things; for He would not have uttered Himself wholly and perfectly, if there were in His Word anything more or less than in Himself.
"Here is recognized in God the highest sense of 'Yes, yes; no, no' (Mt 5:37). Therefore, this Word is truly truth, since whatever is in that knowledge from which it is born is also in itself. And whatever is not in that knowledge is not in the Word. This Word can never have anything false, because it is unchangeable, as He is from whom it is. For 'the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing' (Jn 5:19). Through power He cannot do this; nor is it infirmity, but strength, by which truth cannot be false. Therefore, God the Father knows all things in Himself, knows all things in the Son; but in Himself as though Himself, in the Son as though His own Word which Word is spoken concerning all those things that are in Himself. Similarly, the Son knows all things, namely, in Himself, as things which are born of those which the Father knows in Himself, and in the Father, as those of which they are born, which the Son Himself knows in Himself. The Father then, and the Son know mutually; but the one by begetting, the other by being begotten. And each of them sees simultaneously all things that are in their knowledge, in their wisdom, in their essence: not by parts or singly, as though by alternately looking from this side to that, and from that side to this, and again from this or that object to this or that object, so as not to be able to see some things without at the same time not seeing others; but, as I said, sees all things simultaneously, there is not one of which that He does not always see.

"That word, then, of ours which has neither sound nor thought of sound, but is of that thing in seeing which we speak inwardly, and which therefore belongs to no tongue; and hence is in some sort like, in this enigma, to that Word of God which is also God; since this too is born of our knowledge, in such manner as that also is born of the knowledge of the Father: such a word, I say, of ours, which we find to be in some way like that Word, let us not be slow to consider how unlike also it is, as it may be in our power to utter it."

Augustine, On the Trinity, 15.14
Isaiah 55:1-13

"Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make with you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David. Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples, a leader and commander for the peoples. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know, and a nation that did not know you shall run to you, because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel, for he has glorified you. "Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near; let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. "For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it. "For you shall go out in joy and be led forth in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall break forth into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. Instead of the thorn shall come up the cypress; instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle; and it shall make a name for the LORD, an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off." (ESV)
O Lord, let me focus on Your Word as I go to divine services, so that I might know Your mind for me in Christ. Amen.
For Archbishop Christian Ekong and the people of the Lutheran Church of Nigeria, that the Lord Jesus, Bishop of all souls, would watch over them and guard them under His Word
For the members of the International Lutheran Council, that the Lord of the church would grant wisdom from above to it members
For Bruce Kintz and all the employees of Concordia Publishing House as they continue to produce high quality, Christ-centered books and other materials, that the Lord would bless their efforts 
Art: Durer, Albrecht  The Adoration of the Trinity (1515) 
Memorial Lutheran Church
© Scott Murray 2016
Memorial Lutheran Church, 5800 Westheimer Rd., Houston, TX 77057
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