“In prayer, through the Holy Spirit that the risen Christ has given us, when meditating on the Word, it is possible to get such a sense on the heart of Jesus’s beauty and glory that it reproduces his goodness, love, wisdom, joy, and peace in us.”- Timothy Keller
“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”- 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV)
Timothy Keller concludes Chapter 3 of Hope in Times of Fear as he observes that the Bible speaks of individual Christians as temples. But, the Bible also understands the church corporate as a temple of God. In fact, the word translated as ‘citizenship’ in Philippians 3:20, politeuma, translates better as ‘commonwealth’ or ‘colony.’
So, Pastor Keller asks, what does a ‘heavenly commonwealth’ look like on earth? Pastor Jeremy Treat, in his book Seek First, describes one such church. It’s located in Kibera, a slum area of Nairobi, Kenya. As Pastor Treat walked into the slum , he followed a stream of open sewage flowing next to shelters made of pieces of wood and dried mud.
Finally, Jeremy arrived at the church, little more than a shack. Inside, about seventy people sang at the top of their lungs. They praised God in Swahili. Most significantly, people living in such darkness possessed hope, even joy. The kingdom of God displayed and present in the midst of horrific suffering and brokenness.
In conclusion, Pastor Keller talks about Jacob’s dream of a stairway reaching from earth to heaven. Yet, Jacob was a liar and a cheat. Hence, why would, how could, God come with His presence into Jacob’s life?
Many ancient legends, Pastor Keller reports, spoke of such an axis mundi. However, Jesus proclaims that He’s the axis mundi. Christ’s death and resurrection bring the Spirit of glory into the world. And into your life. Pastor Keller adds:
“So for all of us Jacobs, all of us who apparently ruined our lives, people with just stones for pillows — for us there is infinite hope. Even we can have the glory and power of God in our lives.”
Today’s question: What Scriptures give you a sense on the heart of Jesus’s beauty? Please share.
Coming Monday: the January Short Meditation, “These small beginnings”
Tomorrow’s blog: “Christian faith – radical and disruptive?”