Monday, March 8, 2010

Brief Reflections, part 3: Man's Chief End

"What is the chief end of man? - To glorify God and enjoy Him forever." - WSC; 1

"Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, 10the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say:

11"You are worthy, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they were created
and have their being."...

... Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, "Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."" - Rev. 4:9-11; 21:1-4

What a different lens on reality this is… To genuinely appreciate that the purpose of our existence is the glory of someone else, and that we are built to find joy in that, would certainly change how we live. When God walks down the street in the Heavenly Jerusalem, you simply don't notice anyone else; least of all yourself. Living in light of eternity, we ought to practice; begin living out what it means to find joy in someone else’s glory, now. This directly affects how we live with one another, not as competitors, but as self-giving advocates. There is a reason that loving God and loving others goes hand in hand... selfishness simply has no foothold in eternity.

Brief Reflections, part 2: Worship

"But you have come to Mount Zion, to the heavenly Jerusalem, the city of the living God. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the judge of all men, to the spirits of righteous men made perfect, to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel." - Heb. 12:22-24

God’s presence is truly and actually in our midst; particularly in worship. So often I approach God as if His presence must be imagined into place or conjured up somehow… But it isn’t God that needs to change; it is the tuning of my own awareness, the sharpening of my own senses, that I might genuinely perceive the presence of the God who is actually here. I long for that awareness, that I might worship and serve more fully and truly.

Brief Reflections, part 1: Christ in Me

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." - The Apostle Paul; Gal. 2:20

How would living according to the reality of ‘Christ in me’ change my day to day? How I see myself? How I see other people? Might I look upon my own existence with more hope, more joy, more life, and with more ability to love, were I to be more consciously aware of the life of Christ living in me? Would such an awareness not prove transformative? Would it not draw me into greater Christ-likeness?