Well, Maths has never been my passion, but I do know something of the basic principles. Life demands Mathematics, especially basic calculations with plus, minus, division and multiplication. I can measure and fit, do my simple sewing jobs with a tape measure, check bank statements, make budgets and calculate prices to make better decisions. I always play my game with the supermarket cart to make a rough estimate of the total before I get to the cashier. I like it when I am close.
We have talked about Biblical numbers. Mathematicians are excited about numbers. It is their language. The Bible gives us many numbers and measurements, even being such an ancient document and so many things might have changed over the years. We need the scholars to explain some of the old measures and weighs. Noah’s ark was built according to meticulous godly instructions. The desert Tabernacle was built on God’s measurements. I remember my mother used to say: it doesn’t matter how many noughts are before the one; only those after the one make a difference. She said: Jesus is the ONE and it doesn’t matter that your life is a nothing; with Jesus there is multiplication. This can only happen after you have invited him onto your life. He has to be first.
We haven’t talked about marriage in Pebbles so far. We have talked about relationships – often. We have emphasized how relationships make us happy and unhappy. A human being always lives in relationship, even when alone and unattached. One is born into a family and live in community and the healthier those attachments are, the happier and stronger a person is.
Biblical Maths does not always work like earthly Maths. God is one, but consists of three persons. Man is one but is made up of spirit, soul and body. The number three signifies perfection and completeness.
Paul writes about the three basic principles of Christianity – faith, hope and love (1Corinthians 13). Jesus talks about the three principles for a strong life – prayer, fasting and giving (Matthew 6).
This year, my husband and I celebrated 35 years of marriage. I have always found a strong tower and a safe haven in my relationship with him and the home we have been able to build. However, I know very well that it is not because of us, the fact that we are “good” people or a twist of fate that we have a strong connection. I know for sure that our relationship is grounded in the grace of God and He is the third person in our marriage. Our marriage can be expressed mathematically – 1+1+God=1 relationship.
My very dear friend sent me Scripture to congratulate us. I have realized again: the Bible says it best. Read with me the precious words of God’s relationship maths.
It’s better to have a partner than go it alone.
Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps,
But if there’s no one to help, tough!
Two in a bed warm each other.
Alone, you shiver all night.
By yourself you’re unprotected.
With a friend you can face the worst.
Can you round up a third?
A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, The Message)
There is an old legend of a man who had to teach his sons the power of unity and standing together. He gave them a bundle of sticks, tied together, to break. They could not. When he untied the bundle the individual sticks were easy to break.
We live in Christ. The church is built on the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus – again three elements the power of which is the foundation of the Church of Jesus.
Within the church we are bound to Jesus, to each other and to the Word of God. Together we are unconquerable and impact our world in the most effective way possible.
It is heavenly Maths – Jesus + God’s word + born-again people = the Church.
Maybe it sounds good on paper, as a philosophy or doctrine. Jesus didn’t die for a theory, doctrine or philosophy. He died for people. It is his life in us that transforms us from the inside out. Christianity is not a prescription for life – it is a wholly changed life.
The principles under discussion are radical and fundamental.
When a person submits to faith, hope and love, his life will change fundamentally and profoundly. Faith changes life and death – everything inside and around a person. A decision to follow Jesus impacts your life, your decisions, your family and your circumstances. You change the course of your life – the whole ship turns and takes your generation to a higher level, to a life of excellence.
Your decision impacts the lives of your offspring, even those whom you do not even get to meet on this earth.
Isn’t this something? Let us rejoice in the power of rebirth.
Let us think a bit further on the Mathematics of our wonderful world. Have you heard of the Fibonacci sequence, according to which each number is the sum of the two preceding ones, starting from 0 and 1. For example: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, etc.
Fibonacci numbers are strongly related to the golden ratio. The golden ratio is expressed in the Greek letter phi (Φ)and the numbers 1.618.
Fibonacci numbers appear unexpectedly often in mathematics. They also appear in biological settings, such as branching in trees, the arrangement of leaves on a stem, the fruit of a pineapple, the flowering of an artichoke, the uncurling of a new fern and the arrangement of a pine cone’s bracts.
Scientists point towards the symmetry and predictability of nature to express the miracle of creation and the magnificence of nature. They also ask why it should be so certain and sure.
The answer is efficiency. The sunflower can fit the maximum amount of seeds if they are positioned at the angle of an irrational number.
God’s mathematics is applied in the godly rhythm of an agricultural year, seasonal changes, day and night and heat and cold. In this drumbeat of the Almighty with mathematical precision there is seed for the sower and bread for the eater (Isaiah 55).
In that same way, God’s mathematics will care for all our needs and will feed our souls daily. The Word is the seed and Jesus is the Bread of Life.
A relationship is expressed in God’s mathematics. It is how it works well.
In the Kingdom, that invisible Kingdom of God on earth, it is I PLUS my fellow Christians (innumerable) PLUS God EQUALS a powerful Kingdom to meet the needs of this world.
Lord, I submit myself and my “impossible” relational issues to the authority of the Holy Spirit and expect a miracle from God to take it in hand and work it out for my benefit and joy.
God will change your heart if needs be, make you strong and bring peace in your home and heart and circle of people.