See With Divine Eyes!

I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. And 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. He 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.” Revelation 21: 3 – 4

When Jesus stood in front of people and spoke, the only thing some people could see was a somewhat scruffy manual laborer with a bit of Galilean twang in his speech. He ate, drank, slept, and washed just like the rest of us. He was, to say the least, ordinary.

When Peter looked, and then looked again, and kept looking more deeply, he saw inside and through that ordinariness, “the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Matthew 16:16). Peter received divine insight from the Father himself and realized that, standing in front of him, against all likelihood or hope, was the very power that hurled the Andromeda galaxy, led Israel from bondage, and created all that is seen and unseen.

It is with that same divine dual vision that John sees the church in today’s verse. Where you and I might see double-chins, a squabbling leadership, a minister with lousy taste in music, or a bad youth program, John reminds us to look again, keep looking more deeply and recognize what the truth is: here is the bride of Christ, adorned for her husband.

And there, on that ordinary altar at that ordinary Sunday morning worship, is the divine Lamb of God, offering himself in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb and dwelling with us. Already, death has been defeated. It’s been dead for 2,000 years. Already, the worst thing that can ever happen has happened. Already, Christ has turned it into the best thing that will ever be. Behind the thin veil of the ordinary, the awesome divine fire of the Trinity is burning at the heart of the church, right there on that altar.

Today, see the Church with John’s vision and rejoice, for the former things have passed away!

Posted in Connections, Elder's Message.