Wednesday, August 19, 2020
We bow to our Creator
Now if I have found favour in your sight, show me your ways, so that I may know you and find favour in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.
2 Thessalonians 2:14
For this purpose he called you through our proclamation of the good news, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Words of Grace For Today
It is easy to have silly hopes … and it is foolish to live one’s life built on those silly hopes.
One can, for example, hope that (contrary to all experience past and reasonable expectation for the future) that one will have a [fill in your desired, unreachable thing, like a ‘private lake’]. It is all silliness, hoping to possess things. It is foolish then to build one’s life so that one can finally buy a boat, and then store it away for the day that you can make it’s maiden voyage on your ‘private lake.’
To have hope that inspires the best of life into one and drives one to live the best and that draws from one better than one can imagine … to have that kind of hope one cannot foolishly build one’s life based on silly hopes. One needs to understand profoundly what is before one in the present, what is behind us in the past, and what lies ahead for us in the future.
Moses, wise as he was, is not always written about as if he were so wise. He asks of God, who has just told him that God favours Moses, that Moses will be able to live knowing God’s ways (in Hebrew this knowing is also to be intricately wound up in, to be active in the doing of God’s ways). And to what end does Moses make this request? To find God’s favour.
Yet, God’s favour is already pronounced by God! Moses is making a circular request.
This is us, all too often. God saves, loves us, favours us, and tells us so. We respond by asking that if God loves us and favours us we may know how to earn God’s love and favour!
We all too often want not to be in God’s debt, but we want to know ourselves, and be seen by others, to have earned all that God has gifted us! So Moses is written about as if Moses did not accept God’s favour, but wanted to earn it. Indeed, Moses wanted others to see without a doubt that God favoured Moses. It was required for his and his people’s survival.
There is so much more going on than a silly wish, to earn God’s favour. We can learn if we see.
The second passage also contains something to see. Paul writes to the Thessalonians that his proclamation of Jesus the Christ to them is to bring them Jesus Christ’ Glory.
Christ’s Glory is not something that many people would seek: it involves betrayal by one’s friend, a false conviction, a torturous cross, and death. Only then does it come to anything like what we might expect as Glory.
But Glory, God’s kind of Glory it is. It is that God brings us to life abundant through our being betrayed, being falsely convicted and our bearing our own crosses, which indeed kill us. Then we can start to understand the sacrifice for others lives that Jesus accepted, that Jesus calls us to accept.
On this cross, on this glory, we can hope that God will show us how to live the abundant life … not so that we can earn God’s favour. Rather we ask that God will show us how to live the abundant life that does not require things at all. Rather we ask that God will show us how to live the abundant life as our response to trusting that God saves us, loves us (unconditionally), and favours us.
Knowing this love, trusting this love, we are able to answer Christ’ call to sacrifice our selves, even our lives, so that others may have life, and have it abundantly.
That’s Glory. That’s Grace. That is us as Jesus’ humble followers.