“Sages, Leave Your Contemplations…”

At church this morning, something that stood out to me was a stanza from the hymn “Angels from the Realms of Glory”.

“Sages, leave your contemplations
“Brighter visions beam afar,
“Seek the great Desire of nations,
“Ye have seen his natal star:

“Come and worship, come and worship
Worship Christ, the newborn King.”

This made me think about intellectualism and how there are Christians who believe that we can find the answers to our questions in Jesus.  I often find myself discontent within intellectualism, seeing it as a process of continually trying to find a place on unstable ground and having empty discussions without arriving at anything satisfying to the soul.  But I’d also be discontent were I to force myself into an evangelical mold, which disregarded nuance and assumed that we have all the answers.  There is a joy that comes from not having a lot of the answers and therefore going on a quest to find them, only to find that those “answers” are not entirely adequate.  Life then becomes an adventure, of continuously unpacking mysteries.  But there’s also a joy that comes from finding the answer, and that answer giving you joy, peace, and a sense of mission in life.  Can one have both?

About jamesbradfordpate

My name is James Pate. This blog is about my journey. I read books. I watch movies and TV shows. I go to church. I try to find meaning. And, when I can’t do that, I just talk about stuff that I find interesting. I have degrees in fields of religious studies. I have an M.Phil. in the History of Biblical Interpretation from Hebrew Union College in Cincinnati, Ohio. I also have an M.A. in Hebrew Bible from Jewish Theological Seminary, an M.Div. from Harvard Divinity School, and a B.A. from DePauw University.
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