Sunday, September 7, 2014

the inconsolable secret in each one of us

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory.”

So of course, Chris’s sermon last night took me to Lewis, because the thread, or rope in this case, that ties it all together is the idea that Glory has weight. All that He is presses in. We are needy and our sin is exposed, which is the first step of redemption, recognition of our desperate need.  And it is His grace and kindness that saves me. And not just me, but every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, all of them will confess that Jesus Christ is LORD.

Then I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all that is in them, saying:
“To Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb
be praise and honor and glory and power,
for ever and ever!”

And it is a great mystery, “a secret plan” that was hidden to past generations of mankind, but now this complex wisdom is being worked out in the Church, that God purposes in His sovereign will that all human history shall be consummated in Christ, that everything that exists in Heaven or earth shall find its perfection and fulfillment in Him.

And the greatness of this plan sends us to our knees before the Father, that He will enable us to know the strength of the Spirit’s inner reinforcement–that Christ may actually live in our hearts through faith, and that we may know for ourselves this love so far beyond our comprehension.

Which is what Lewis marvels at in his sermon, “The Weight of Glory”: To please God… to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son–it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thoughts can hardly sustain. But so it is.”

And God lifts us up from our knees, and we are equipped and sent. We are His consecrated messengers, ministers of this good news.

Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”

And the impulses and imaginations of our past evil nature somehow still can have a foothold in our hearts if we allow it, even though He has given us new life together in Christ. And the world’s stream of drifting ideas of living and the unseen ruler can still speak death and distraction and hopelessness. But Lewis reminds us of what is true: He who has God and everything else has no more than he who has God only.

And I am falling on my knees, hungry that I might be firmly fixed in this love, this great weight of glory. And may I receive this inner illumination that I might realize how great is the hope to which He is calling me. Today, once again, I, a Christ-bearer, am sent, sent out to live in human history. “It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you say it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree helping each other to one or the other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all of our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - These are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit - immortal horrors or everlasting splendors.”

And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”