On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

Psalm 145: 5

 

The bible can be something of a word museum, for it is a place where language that seems to come from another time and a different sort of place can be found and considered. Majesty and its adjectival form, majestic, are like that. We don’t use those words much today. This may be the result of a modern aesthetic that doesn’t incorporate this concept in that things are too clean and efficient today to be granted the mass and the non-productive lines that gain the descriptor, “majestic.” But I think that there is something else beyond pragmatics involved in its removal from modern society’s list of useful, descriptive expression. Majesty suggests something or someone that rises high above the rest, that is ascendant and that stands in a superior position in relationship to all of the rest of our world. We struggle with accepting the fact that there can be people and things that can be in such an elevated place relative to us, and people truly fight against placing God onto such a plain.

 

We tend to desire a god who operates mostly like a well-intentioned friend or neighbor. We are good with comfort and advice, but we are ready to leave the kitchen when the conversation turns to moral and ethical absolutes and to righteous living. These are the field wherein our own understanding is the one that rules the day as we write out the rulebook for life with easily changeable words and ideas that we hold close to our own hands so that they can be changed as needed to suit the path of travel that brings about comfort and satisfaction. This approach makes it hard to contemplate a god who stands apart from us on a level of absolute righteousness and justice. This bringing down of God to my level also makes it much harder to grasp and to understand the magnitude of Christ’s gift of love, grace, and redemption. For if He operates solely at my level as an understanding companion and a voice of reason in a troubled world, the depth of descent that the cross required and the enormity of the sacrifice that God endured in order to bring about salvation and redemption for me can not be truly appreciated. Christ came from the greatest of heights to enter the deepest of depths in order to grant you and I the right to stand blameless before Holy God.

 

This fact and the reality that it conjures up are worthy of my meditation and contemplation. If I am to truly appreciate God for who He is and in light of His nature, I need to take a step back from the rapid pace and the efficient processes of my day so that I can kneel in humble submission before the wonder and the greatness of God. He is truly ascendant above all of creation, which is all the work of God’s own hands, and the Lord applies His benevolent rule to every aspect of existence. There is nothing that is outside of God’s authority or beyond the application of His Word. There is also nothing that any of us will encounter that is not covered by God’s grace and wherein we will journey outside of the possibility of His mercy and redemption. As I draw breath, Christ desires for me to use the life that it gives as a testimony to His presence within me and to His love for the world that I touch. This life that I have is a gift that my Lord has granted to me to live out in righteous peace and justice in conformity to God’s Word and in response to His Spirit’s direction. I come to know this direction as I meditate on the truth of His Word and as I contemplate the living majesty of my Lord.

 

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At one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light.

Ephesians 5: 8

 

Light and dark, images that describe the two ends of the day and that also depict the beginning and the end of our earthly days as we are born out of the darkness into the light of the world outside of the womb and then we end our days by returning to the darkness of the grave. This same light verses dark concept reflects the conduct of life during the hours in the middle of our days and in the days of our earthly journey. Although, people are faced with many decisions that seem to be shaded in gradations of grey, in fact, all of a person’s personal morality and its ethical underpinning is founded upon beliefs that are either darkened or enlightened.

 

The source of all light in this world can be traced to God. He is the author of all that is just, right, loving, and merciful on earth. In the Lord’s design for this world and in its original creation, these characteristics of God were universally present. Even the darkness that was the result of the way that the earth travels in its orbit about the sun was infused with the same holiness as was the day. Yet, rebellion and sinfulness shattered that perfection and brought a counter-God force into being in all of creation. Now, as people are born into that light of the sun, we are all still darkness dwellers in our hearts and to the depths of our souls. Thus, each person starts life in conflict with the light of righteousness that is the nature of Christ.

 

However, that same Christ from whom we flee is actively and aggressively seeking after us and pursuing relationship with each person on this earth. The light of the Lord seeks to replace the darkness of sin and death in the hearts and the minds of all people, and as we accept Christ, His light becomes who and what we are. Although we are now true children of the light that is the character and the nature of God, the darkness that was ours from birth still attempts to assert itself into our daily journey. So Christ implores His followers to reject the darkness that attempts to enfold us, to confess the times when it shows up in our thoughts and actions, and to turn away from its hollow allure as we claim the victory over sin that is found in the glory of Christ in us.

Therefore thus says the Lord God, “Behold, I am the one who has laid as a foundation in Zion, a stone, a tested stone, a precious corner stone, of a sure foundation;

‘Whoever believes will not be in haste.’ And I will make justice the line, and righteousness the plumb line.”

Isaiah 28: 16, 17a

 

If life were a film, haste might be the director’s command for our lives today. We are urgent to get where we are intending to go. Everyone wants answers that were delivered before the problem was even defined. People are quick to abandon relationships that aren’t working well enough, and we jump ideological ship when a small storm swell rocks it. It seems that loyalty is defined by self-protectiveness, and faithfulness often lasts about as long as a Mayfly lives. It is not all that shocking to me to realize that God sees things rather differently. He talks to us in terms that call out the dawn of human time, and then, as we start to develop a sense of our importance, the Lord reminds us that our existence starts at something like mid day on His clock.

 

The foundation that God built for us is firstly relational. It is, it exists, and it forms the natural undercurrent for life. This point of beginning for all interaction, whether from person to person, among humans and God, or involving us and our world, has as its basis and its underpinning the relational nature of God, Himself, with His three-in-one, fully communicative, integrated and yet separately well-defined existence. God intends for us to be in this life for the long haul. He desires for people to continually count the cost of our decisions and our actions so that we are mindful of the way that they impact and affect others in terms of whether we are treating people in a manner that is loving, just, righteous, and fair.

 

The corner stone that God has set out for us is also true, absolutely perfect in its orientation, and unshakable even in the face of the greatest forces that this world or that life can throw against it. For the sake of clarity let me say that this corner stone is Jesus Christ, His gospel, the Eternal Word. There is no other answer to the questions and the challenges that come our way. It would seem that God wants us to slow down and stop looking for new ways of thinking that will bring about miraculous solutions to all that is wrong in our world. The Lord wants people to spend time with Him and to search out His heart’s desire as it is set out in His Word. When we do this we are settling into our place against that eternal foundation that God has established for us. This is a place of complete security where grace smoothes our rough edges so that we fit perfectly into God’s building design. This is the place where our wandering hearts are aligned with God’s just and true course and where righteousness lived out builds God’s temple walls high and true.

 

 

He has told you, O man, what it is and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God.

Micah 6: 8

 

God makes the way of living that He desires for His children very clear. We are to be people who live in a just, a righteous, manner without demanding justice for ourselves. We are to be people who show kindness, which is often called mercy, to everyone without the expectation or the prerequirement that they will be merciful to us. This is the nature of God, for He grants the total grace of His loving forgiveness to everyone who will accept it. He does this even knowing that from God’s perspective, we are all antagonistic and hostile to His will, for we are all, in our natural states, unjust and merciless.

 

God’s Spirit teaches, counsels, guides, and directs us toward decisions and responses to other’s actions that will reflect His concept of what is just and how to grant mercy. Justice and kindness are key threads in the cloth of life that God has woven and that He has wrapped around every one of His children. As we seek to live in the center of our relationship with Christ, His Spirit infuses our hearts with His essential truths and with the values and the ethics that spring forth from them. Christ calls upon us to become people who value the just treatment of everyone at a very high level; so, we need to seek to interact with others in a way that reflects the grace and the mercy that He has shown to us.

 

When we actually live in this manner it means that we are required to place ourselves and our concepts of our importance on a level that is far beneath that of God’s. Then we must become humble students of the Master, and we need to stay humbled through everything that comes our way. I will not have all of the answers, but Christ does. I won’t always respond well to what others do and say, yet God has already forgiven my failure. When I see my futility and powerlessness in the face of oppression and hatred in my world, the Lord simply says for me to walk with Him, and He will provide the insight and the wisdom that I require to meet the needs of the victimized and the battered.