Jan van Ruysbroeck: Enjoyment and Sharing

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Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life. 1 Timothy 6:17-19

“The incomprehensible riches and exaltation and the mildness and liberality with which the divine nature makes itself common: all this makes man to be astonished. And particularly and above all things man is astonished to see how God makes Himself common, and the liberality of it: for he perceives that in this incomprehensible nature of God consists the enjoyment of Him which He shares with all the saints.”

Jan van Ruysbroek (1293-1381) in The Spiritual Espousals (London: Faber and Faber, 1952) 125.

Notice the connection between sharing and enjoyment. God shares incomprehensible riches with us by sharing Himself. He does this for everyone for our enjoyment and sharing.

As 2022 gets rolling, reflect on the fact that the call for the rich to enjoy and share all things richly is not optional. It’s a command. Those who heed it, grasp life as God intends.

Also consider that two times Jan uses the word “incomprehensible” linked to both the gifts of God and the divine nature. Why think about this as well?

If God lavishes the incomprehensible gift of Himself and commands us to enjoy and share His material blessings, then the enjoyment of Him and the generous sharing of His blessings will be incomprehensibly better than any life we can imagine.

And all this is for everyone, because to be rich, in biblical terms, is simply to have more than enough. So, anyone with an abunance of material and/or spiritual blessings can enjoy and share them richly. Again, when we do this, we take hold of life.

Enjoy and share everyone! It’s a taste of life in the kingdom.