with open face
“Here, O my Lord, I’d see Thee face to face;
Here would I touch and handle things unseen;
Here grasp with firmer hand th’ eternal grace,
And all my weariness upon Thee lean.” Horatius Bonar
“We all with open face…beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord.” II Corinthians 3:18
uncluttered, unfettered, unshuttered
offering of light
no hidden darkness
no enclave of regret
the emergence of great and simple things.
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As I think of this new year before us, it’s really the moments that demand our attention: moments brimming with promise; moments asking to be lived, loved, owned, fulfilled; moments that both invite and impel a commitment to action, conviction; moments that resist the lull of slumber, apathy, fear, despair; moments that proceed from and include divine Love’s infinite giving.
There’s a passage from Isaiah that always fills me with hope. It says, “Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”
Now in this moment, no matter where we’ve been, what we’ve struggled with, what we’re unsure of, there is a new birth–a pure emergence of goodness waiting to happen. It’s rooted in a core of spiritual innocence that is out of reach of the world–it can’t be damaged; it can’t be violated, corrupted, darkened, or destroyed. It is our own pristine likeness and expression of God demanding to be seen, felt, lived, known; and it is here. As Mary Baker Eddy puts it: “…All the wicked endeavors of suppositional demons can never change the current of that life from steadfastly flowing on to God, its divine source.”
Here’s to renewal and the divine promises that cannot be broken. Here’s to renewal and the fact that we cannot escape God’s infinite love. Here’s to renewal and the unblemished promise of who we are. Here’s to heaven here and lives filled with the spirit of praise and grace–the unfettered joy and conviction of the word hallelujah.
As we were driving home from Toronto the other night we heard a program on CBC radio about this word. It’s a compilation of music and discussion about the transcendent and universal impact that it has had. Here’s a brief overview of some of my favorite moments in the program:
- Tim Elliot, a retired Anglican priest and jazz pianist speaks of the deep, hopeful nature of the word, and how something about it makes you want to stand and salute the eternal source of Love.
- Another speaker discusses how the word hallelujah includes no doubt, no gray area, it’s an unfettered acknowledgement, salute, praise, affirmation.
- Reverend Marie Miller talks about how when she senses a heaviness, a need for uplift in a congregation, the word hallelujah naturally impels a spiritual lift, a sense of communication with the Divine.
- Another speaker encourages us as humans to be hallelujah people–to be consciously, actively more full of praise. He says that this kind of praise comes from a place of love instead of fear.
Here’s the link, and here’s to a new year filled with moments, moments, moments of overflowing joy, peace, and praise: http://www.cbc.ca/thesundayedition/listen_stream.html. Once you click on the link scroll down to the Dec. 21, 2008 show to listen. It’s around 9 minutes into the program, and you should be able to fast forward to it. The program itself is about 20 minutes long.