Saturday, January 12, 2013

Homily 45: Danger Close (as preached by an orthodox rebel)

"Thus saith the Lord...: I have heard thy prayer, I have seen thy tears...." Is. 38:5

How close is your God? As close as your tears? As deep as your aches? If He is not, then He is not a God worthy of worship. When Hezekiah first called upon the Lord in prayer (Is. 37:15-20), He is called the God "who dwells between the cheribums" (KJV). That was a reference to the ark of the covenant, which sat in the temple at Jerusalem, Hezekiah's city. You see, God was not a murky abstraction or a deity of distances. He was close, danger close, in your midst. You could find the very street and building of His very house. Though the Holiest of Holies was still off-limits in Hezekiah's day, it was also still an actual, geographical location that could be referenced and seen and approached. For those who stood before the veil, the Lord was very near.

For we who have pierced the veil with and in Christ (Heb. 6:19-20), the reality is even more resplendent, for God is literally as close as tears. As close as sorrow. As touching as pain. Do not fall for the snare laid down by despair; hear your danger close God instead: "I hear your prayers. I see your tears. I have caught and counted every one in a bottle and recorded them in my book (Ps. 56:8), and I have nothing but compassion for you, like a father's compassion for his children as he remembers that they are not like him (Ps. 103:13-14): not strong like him or wise like him or as durable and capable as him. I know, and I see, and I understand, and I care." Take your rest in the compassion and nearness of your danger close Father God, whose knowledge of you is intimate as well as infinite, is small like you as well as big like Him. Amen.

-Jon Vowell (c) 2013

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