THE THINGS WE DO NOT KNOW
“It is proper and right to hymn You, to bless You, to praise You, to give thanks to You, and to worship You in every place of Your dominion. For You, O God, are ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible, existing forever, forever the same (ἀεὶ ὤν, ὡσαύτως ὤν), You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit. You brought us out of nothing into being, and when we had fallen away, You raised us up again. You left nothing undone until You had led us up to heaven and granted us Your kingdom, which is to come. For all these things, we thank You and Your only begotten Son and Your Holy Spirit: for all things we know and do not know, for blessings manifest and hidden that have been bestowed on us.” (Eucharistic Prayer of St. John Chrysostom, Preface)
This beautiful, central prayer of our Divine Liturgy reminds me of the many things we “do not know,” not only about God (“ineffable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible”), but also about His creation. In our technologically-savvy, Information Age, we might tend to approach the created world, including ourselves and our lives, more as a puzzle to be figured out and fixed, than as a mystery to be accepted. But our Tradition removes a lot of that pressure from us, to figure out or fix every ambiguity that confronts us, and invites us to accept it, in awe, faith and gratitude.
Today let me not fear the things I do not know or understand, from my past, present, or future, and thank God for it all. He is a God Who leaves “nothing undone,” until He has led us up to where we are meant to be, in His kingdom. I’m not sure exactly how He will go about that today, but I do open my heart to it; I open my heart to His grace, and re-connect with Him this morning. Thank You, God, “for all things we know and do not know, for blessings manifest and hidden that have been bestowed on us,” and that are yet to be bestowed on us. And thank You for my dad, who turns 84 today!