“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.”

Isaiah 55: 8, 9

The term transcendence is used in the world of theology to try to describe the way that God is above all else. It helps our minds to grasp the fact that our God is often unknowable and that His way of viewing life does not always seem clear to us. This is the characteristic of God that Isaiah is attempting describe here. He has heard the voice of God call to people to leave behind that which comes so naturally to us, as the country preacher would have put it, “Leave your sinful ways and follow Jesus.” Yet, if God is so unknowable, and it seems that with the wisdom of our humanity He is absolutely unknowable, then how can we even begin to hope to leave what is our native bent and follow that which is beyond our understanding?

Well, let’s go back to that country preacher, for he said it all. Follow Jesus. I could just stop right there, let that thought sink in, and call it all good; but, I am writing this and I’m not finished. Jesus is the game changer in our ability to actually know this transcendent God. He traveled in the opposite direction. Jesus came into our world and joined us in life in order that we could know God and experience relationship with Him. He made God truly immanent, this is, Jesus Christ brought God in total into our world and is absolutely present with us in it. For even as He was departing from this life Jesus made the promise that His Spirit would be with us in and through it all and for the rest of time.

Christ grants us the ability to know God. He gives the way and the means to start to grasp the otherwise impenetrable truths of the transcendent God. Christ in our world leads His followers into a new way of viewing life that places the highest priority on entering into an ever growing and deepening relationship with God. Then it is this relationship with God that should compel us to live with the same values and priorities as God holds. As Christ takes His followers into the realm of the transcendent we learn to love others and to seek their well being above our own. The transcendent God sacrificed all for us, and Christ shows us how to lay down all that we hold as dear in this life in order to bring others into the presence of that same holy God.