A new Psalm to the greatness of God on a special day:
Come and ascribe glory and greatness to the Lord,
Lift up your hands in innocence and repentance.
Let your hearts magnify the attribute of our Lord in His holy place.
Let our mouths join with the heavenlies in shouts of praise, in continual song.
Glorify Him for his work.
Glorify Him for his deeds.
Glorify Him for his excellent nature and deep wisdom that illuminates all things.
Let us bow low before his thundering might
and be laid low in our hubris.
All wisdom and knowledge come from Him alone,
Our next breath is a gift.
Give honor to his name.
Shout it from the valleys and dry places,
Shout it from the mountains and streams.
Make known his infinite worth to all His people.
Let His name ring in the ears of the earth.
We bless you Lord.
There is one eternal axiom I’ve got to learn to hold on to: God is relentlessly mysterious. One of the many strands of thought that weave all through scripture is this notion of God ”concealing” things just past our earthly vision. Proverbs 25:2a states it plainly: “it is the glory of God to conceal things”. John spends the 8th chapter of his Gospel describing how the disciples had to ask Jesus to slow down and clarify the story of the sower and the seed. The amount of parabolic material Jesus threw down must have been confounding to his listeners.
The ultimate example of his followers missing His mystery happens within a familiar passage in John 20. Peter and John run to the empty tomb after Mary had found the body missing and the tomb apparently robbed. Instead of a ransacked crime scene, they see his grave clothes neatly folded. After running to the tomb in a furious rage of “righteous indignation,” this is probably not what they expected. In fact, verse 9, leads us to think they had missed the whole point!
“for as yet they did not understand the Scripture, that he must rise from the dead. Then the disciples went back to their homes.”......(insert cricket noises here)
Are you kidding me? After spending three years on mission with Jesus, these guys still didn’t understand the whole death and resurrection thing in that moment. It was only later when Jesus appeared to them and confirmed his eternal plan that they fully understood what had to happen to Jesus for humanity AND his name.
What plotline does he have you in today that is calling you to deeper faith in his plan? Is it sickness?, an eternally long project?, social conflict?, family pain? We can rest assured that he has, in fact, reached into time and rescued us. We can also rest assured that he doesn’t want us to have all the answers. Let faith arise and rest in his mysterious ways.
I saw the moon in the southern sky yesterday afternoon. My 5 year old asked me why the moon was still up so late in the day. Without trying to go into details, I tried to explain to her that we really never know where it will pop up. Sarah Groves has a great song in which she personifies the moon as a representative of humanity and the sun as representing the Maker. Its lyrics highlight a thought to remember:
And I am the moon with no light of my own
Still you have made me to shine
And as I glow in this cold dark night
I know I can't be a light unless I turn my face to you
The moon has no light of its own. It reflects the light of the sun. When we see the moon, we see the sun’s light. Without the sun’s light we wouldn’t know the moon even exists. Magnificent!
Psalm 67 is a song praying for God’s blessing on us.
May God be gracious to us and bless us,
and make his face to shine upon us,
that your way may be known on earth
and your saving power among all nations.
The songwriter is boldly asking for God to bounce off of those who worship Him so that the light that is reflected will allow the nations to know that God exists.
When we ask God for blessing, lets ask for God to do it in such a way that preserves His glory in the thing and not our own. Lets ask him to show off through us.
In John 7:18, we hear Jesus’ own words echo the song lyrics:
The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory,
but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him,
and in him there is no falsehood.
Will you pray boldly with me for blessing on his people, so that at the end of the day the only light the nations see will be blamed on God?