Ascribe to the LORD, you families of the peoples; ascribe to the LORD honor and power. Psalm 96:7
Great are the deeds of the LORD! They are studied by all who delight in them. His work is full of majesty and splendor, and His righteousness endures forever. He makes His marvelous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and full of compassion. Psalm 111:2-3
My eucharisto this morning was full of grandpas jiggling the little babies pressed up to their chest, and little girls with braids playing tag in the grass and mariachi musicians passing on the joy of their music to the next generation with shiny slicked-back hair and tamales and horchata and bumping to an old student with curly hair going in every direction helping his girlfriend sell little bags of lettuce from the school garden. And the night was clear and the air was full of laughter and violins and soaring voices.
Let them see You in me.
And afterwards we tucked into the Denny’s on the other side of the freeway, the Denny’s that has been there in all of its glorious bottomless cup of coffee and lots of ice cream on the pies and I really don’t think much has changed in fifty years except for a few light bulbs.
And what lets them see You in me and us and the bigger Us? And when do we blend into the scenery, indistinguishable? How do we hold His honor and power in the forefront of our mind and hearts, undistracted? Many is that which does so easily entangles and dims His light in our lives.
And somehow when I got home and tucked up on the red floral couch, Lewis’s Letters to Malcolm answered this unfinished discussion. Somehow pleasures are shafts of the glory as it strikes our sensibility. They [are] not the hope of glory, they are an exposition of the glory itself. That which is manifest.When the wind roars I don’t just hear the roar; I “hear the wind.” This sweet air whispers of the country from whence it blows. It is a message. We know we are being touched by a finger of that right hand at which there are pleasure for evermore. One’s mind runs back up the sunbeam to the sun.
I don’t always achieve it. One obstacle is inattention. Another is the wrong kind of attention. One could, if one practiced, hear simply a roar and not the roaring-of-the-wind. One could concentrate on the pleasure as an event…and ignore the smell of Deity that hangs about it. A third obstacle is greed. Instead of saying “This also is Thou,” one may say the fatal word Encore.
And really this is the same beginning of our unfinished list. Inattention. The wrong kind of attention. And greed. These are what keep us from declaring the hope which sets us apart, the hope the world might see in me, see in us, see in Us, the Church. Christ manifest here on earth. Joy is the serious business of heaven.