Tuesday, February 23, 2016
Reflecting Glory -
"But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." [Jesus teaching in Matthew 5:48]
The Sermon on the Mount, as found in Matthew chapters 5-7 and elsewhere, is a collection of Jesus's foundational teachings. It is the true heart of Christianity itself, the movement of God that His Christ came to start as one of us. Chapter 5 of Matthew's gospel contains the Beatitudes (Blessings) that gives us a picture of what our lives should like as faithful followers (disciples) of Jesus. That chapter also ends with the astonishing statement above, "But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect." Yes, an impossibility for us humans in this life, but Jesus was always pointing to His Father and the Kingdom wherein such impossibilities become possible. Our challenge then is to surrender and submit to God's transformation by His Spirit in us. This is the "long obedience in the same direction" as Eugene Peterson calls it. It is taking on the "easy yoke and Light burden" of Christ for our lives, walking this journey in His "unforced rhythms of grace", (Peterson again).
The Apostle Paul, "caught up in the Spirit", spoke this Truth in a letter to those in the Church at Corinth, "For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image." [ 2 Corinthians 3:17-18 New Living Translation (NLT)]
Further, John, "the disciple whom Jesus loved" as he referred to himself, writes these things in his Revelation that Christ gave him before his death:
Revelation 21:22-27 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light.24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty—but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
And finally this:
Revelation 22:1-5 New Living Translation (NLT)
22 Then the angel showed me a river with the water of life, clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2 It flowed down the center of the main street. On each side of the river grew a tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, with a fresh crop each month. The leaves were used for medicine to heal the nations.
3 No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him. 4 And they will see his face, and his name will be written on their foreheads. 5 And there will be no night there—no need for lamps or sun—for the Lord God will shine on them. And they will reign forever and ever.
As with many things of God, this all seems very mysterious, and I admit I had much difficulty grasping these Truths in my younger years. My own faith journey led me down many paths until I finally returned to the One Narrow Way, the Good Red Road of Christ. It is Jesus Himself, the Christ of God, fully human and fully God, Who is our own Revelation as well. Therein the Great Mystery revealed; the Creator of all things is also the intimate Lover of our soul, our true HOPE and eternal salvation.
Immersed in Glory we cannot help but reflect it, reflect God.
}:- anonemoose monk 💔~💜