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Monday, February 27, 2012

The Cameroonian Word for Snow


          In the current issue of Think magazine (February, 2012), Richard Sutton writes an article entitled "Discipleship: A Lifelong Pursuit" (pages 24-25). In that article, he tells us about making a mission trip to Africa and asking some students about snow. They had seen snow on TV but had not actually felt it. The class guessed, based on its appearance on TV, that snow felt like salt. They had never felt snow before.


          Years later, a friend of Sutton from Cameroon - Jean Claude Ethe - visited Loveland, CO. Some Christians took him to the Rocky Mountain National Park. For the first time, he experienced snow first hand. He was shocked, Sutton writes. "The texture, the feel, was unlike anything he had ever experienced, but now he knew snow in an intimate way, something his fellow Cameroonians had not." Sutton then asks some questions. How would Ethe communicate his knowledge of snow to his fellow citizens?


          The same "challenge" was presented to God when He made man. I put challenge in quotation marks since nothing is really a challenge to God. But, accommodatively, how could God communicate Himself to mankind?


          The answer? He would become man. One member of the Divine Family took on flesh and pitched His tent alongside humanity (John 1:14). Frequently, Jesus made comments similar to those made to Philip in John 14: "He who has seen Me has seen the Father."


          The Hebrew writer wrote: "In these last days [God] has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His name, and upholds all things by the word of His power" (1:2-3).


          If we truly want to know the God of the universe, we need to study the character, nature and behavior of His beloved Son.


--Paul Holland


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