Monthly Archives: October 2010

Dimly

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

The other day in chapel we sang a song called “Facedown.” The first verse talks about being welcomed into the presence of God, as we stand in the courts of our King; the chorus repeats, “And I’ll fall facedown / As Your glory shines around.” At one point during the song another was spliced in, sections of Phil Wickham’s “Cielo”: “I can’t sing loud enough / When I’m singing for You my God / I can’t sing loud enough / I can’t sing loud enough . . . / But I can’t bow low enough / I can’t bow low enough / At the vision of You my God / I can’t bow low enough / I can’t bow low enough / At the vision of You my God . . . / But I can’t lift my hands high enough / Lift my hands high enough / When I’m reaching for You my God / I can’t lift my hands high enough / Lift my hands high enough / When I’m reaching for You my God”

This is powerful imagery…. the thought of being so in awe of God, basking in His presence, and having no other response than to fall before Him in the midst of His glory. The throne room imagery we find in Revelation talks about the constant praise heard around the throne, “Day and night, they never stop saying: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty who was, and is, and is to come'” (Revelation 4:8). We stand before this same throne, worshiping the God of the Universe–Who created all and then swooped into His own creation and redeemed it. It is for this reason we can stand in this place. When Christ died on the cross, the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (Matthew 27:51). We need no other intercessor, than Christ alone, in order to enter the presence of God. Through Him we have been brought back, and stand before our creator redeemed (Colossians 1:22). We are welcomed in.

It is beautiful to sing about these things–being ushered into God’s presence, falling before Him in the midst of His glory–and imagine the throne room. Yet, now we see only in part; we know only in part. What we know of God and His presence is faint compared to the reality of His glory. “For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12. If we truly understood this–that we have no idea how to fathom the fact that one day we would realize the intensity of the glory of God, stand in the His presence, and fall before His throne–shouldn’t it change everything? Wouldn’t our lives mimic this as well? Shouldn’t we be in awe that the presence of the God of the universe walks with us? That we have the ability to enter His throne room at any time, in any place, even at our point of weakness? (Heb 4:14-16). What would it look like to live our lives mindful of the throne room? mindful of His presence? What if our lives–our thoughts, actions, interactions, pursuits– all went back to this? What if we bowed down our lives before the throne room of God in an act of worship? What if we spoke with our lives–our thoughts, actions, interactions, pursuits– that we “can’t sing loud enough. . . bow low enough . . . lift [our] hands high enough . . .” in the midst His presence and in awe of Him?

“Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.” Colossians 3:1-4

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Advertisements

Redeemed

This morning as I was getting ready for the day, I listened to a song which totally brought me back to a time, not oh so long ago, when I sat by the fire with some sweet brothers and sisters in Christ, which led me to consider, yet again, what I hope for them. I had to stop right then, and write.

It was a night like any other, but in it moved a wave of redemption. It began with stagnation, then fear; and then You swept in before any of us could have expected You, reminding us You had been there the whole time. Reminding us You were not finished, and neither were we. Reminding us we needed to depend on You, and our best efforts might need to be brought down from their lofty resting place, destroyed in what seemed like turmoil, only so they could be built again according to Your lovely, purposed, choreographed assembly. A peace, a purpose, an anticipation. A glow came from the fire representing so much of Your presence over us and plan within us. Our simple gathering was still not perfect. You don’t ask us to be. But then, as the music built and our voices and hearts were lifted to You in syncopated rhythm You swept in, and the tone was set. We prayed to You, lifting up brothers and sisters into Your hands of purposed protection, in a symphony of voices. Bind us together for Your plan in us.
Their plans have been brought down. There is seemingly no resting place to be discovered. What began with simplicity seems now only tumultuous confusion. Distracted; afraid; stagnant. But there is a wave whispering within them “Redemption.” It is You. You sweep in. You speak over them. You speak for them. You rest within them. But there are so many voices, so many demands, so many lofty plans. And sometimes Your voice seems only a whisper blocked out by the commotion or even all-too-convenient quiet all around them; an enemy who wants to pull them from Your presence; or their own will. They have begun to forget again who they are, and what You have called them to do. This does not stop You. You call for them, to be driven by Your lovely, purposed, choreographed plans for them. Calling them to rest in Your purposed protection. Reminding them You have been here the whole time. Reminding them You are not finished, and neither are they. They are not perfect. You do not ask them to be. You have redeemed them. You have made them new. You call them to sing a song from their hearts, and join You in the dance. They have accepted the invitation, but are unaware they are already present at the party. They are chilled and don’t see the glow in the fire, representing so much of Your presence over them, and plan within them. But still You whisper, “Redemption.” And You speak their name, the one you have given them from the beginning. The one that calls them daughter, son, redeemed. You have so much for them, far exceeding anything this world, in its best efforts, could offer. This is not the end, but only the beginning… a continuation of the work You began in them long ago and will be faithful to bring to completion. The music is building. Let them respond to You in syncopated rhythm, lift their heads, smile, and echo back, speaking with confidence from their hearts, “Redeemed.”

“Father heal Your world, make all things new / Make all things new” – Gungor (We Will Run)