One of our children has a birthday today. A child all grown up. A child only in the eyes of a parent. Always a child in the eyes of a parent. Yet a child who offers friendship, loyalty, counsel, support, energy, tradition, individuality and who is a parent with parents. More than anything this child just is who they are. With a formal name (and pet names), with different hats (and no hat), with different moods, interests, languages and personal traits. The “order” becomes irrelevant. The “is” becomes everything.
Happy Birthday dearest is.
“When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, “As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.” They asked him, “Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?” And he said, “Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately.” Then he said to them, “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.” “ Luke 21:5-11
Meeting God in His place this morning through these moments and words – I have the same “is”. The same lack of interest in order.
Which came first – The God or The Spirit? Which of The Three is with me right now? I need to know. Should I be formal with Father, or can I be off-duty with Son, or should I be all intense with Spirit? Should I be grateful … curious … praise-full … Should I look up or down … should I pray or just blather as usual … Who should I be in this moment of meeting … ? I need to behave appropriately when I meet God.
“Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and, ‘The time is near!’ Do not go after them. “
“I am He” comes in all shapes and sizes. “I am He” is not about being saved but about living. Is not about order and control – but spontaneity and freedom. Is not about compartmentalised minutes – but about chaos and life in all its glorious rollercoaster of indulgence and scarcity and diversity and colours! “I am He” … “is” – and the “is” is everything.
“Beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God.” Come in all shapes and sizes. Sunday might be one of them. The end times another. Our quiet and peaceful sanctuaries. Our diaries of God slots. Our expectations of meeting God. Our preparing for worship. Our compartments of God-on and God-off.
“All will be thrown down.” Isn’t just “that” Temple. Isn’t just those massive building blocks beautifully stitched together so that not even a sheet of paper can penetrate (“How did they do that?” … It was for God … “Really! How beautiful is that!”)
If you meet me and are not changed you have not met me at all.
Our daughter was a baby and a toddler. She is a parent with a baby and a toddler. She may be a grandmother some time in her future. And she is always who she is. She can only be who she is right now. And that is why we only see “is”. That is who we love. That is all we can love. She can only ever be … is.
Everything else is us. And that is not “meeting her” at all. That is just more beautiful stones.
Happy Birthday dearest is.
As I meet God in His place today … am I changed and how will I know?
(and what about you?)