Root and Branch Co-founder Neil Ellingson talks about how our pictures of reality can be bigger than we might imagine. From a Sunday service on October 5th, 2014.
Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20
20:1 Then God spoke all these words:
20:2 I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery;
20:3 you shall have no other gods before me.
20:4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
20:7 You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not acquit anyone who misuses his name.
20:8 Remember the sabbath day, and keep it holy.
20:9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work.
20:12 Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
20:13 You shall not murder.
20:14 You shall not commit adultery.
20:15 You shall not steal.
20:16 You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
20:17 You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
20:18 When all the people witnessed the thunder and lightning, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking, they were afraid and trembled and stood at a distance,
20:19 and said to Moses, "You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, or we will die."
20:20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid; for God has come only to test you and to put the fear of him upon you so that you do not sin."
Gregory of Nyssa (c.335-c.395), from Life of Moses:
Hope always draws the soul from the beauty which is seen to what is beyond, always kindles the desire for the hidden through what is constantly perceived. Therefore, the ardent lover of beauty, although receiving what is always visible as an image of what he desires, yet longs to be filled with the very stamp of the archetype.
And the bold request which goes up the mountains of desire asks this: to enjoy the Beauty not in mirrors and reflections, but face to face. The divine voice granted what was requested in what was denied, showing in a few words an immeasurable depth of thought. The munificence of God assented to the fulfillment of his desire, but did not promise any cessation or satiety of the desire.
He would not have shown himself to his servant if the sight were such as to bring the desire of the beholder to an end, since the true sight of God consists in this, that the one who looks up to God never ceases in that desire. For he says: You cannot see my face, for man cannot see me and live.