Sunday, February 19, 2017

Longing for Lent: Marked by the Cross on Ash Wednesday

 

By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.”
            -Genesis 3:19
Ash Wednesday falls on March 1 this year. It marks the beginning of Lent, that forty plus days set aside by the church for nearly two millennia as a time to dedicate ourselves afresh to God.
If you have never been to an Ash Wednesday service, it is a powerful experience. Each person goes forward to receive the sign of the cross in black ashes on his or her forehead. Young and old, men and women, clergy and lay, all receive the ashes. We all stand on level ground before the foot of the cross and the realization of our mortality.
Often the words of Genesis 3:19 are spoken as we receive the ashes. It is quite sobering! I have come from the dust and ashes of the ground, and in due time I will return.
Such a stark reality begs the question: How am I living my days here on earth? Am I telling those around me just how much I love them? Am I pursuing the Lord with my whole heart? How do I need to number my days? What needs to change in my life? Psalm 90:3, 12 states:
You turn people back to dust,
    saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.”
. . .
Teach us to number our days,
    that we may gain a heart of wisdom.
Ash Wednesday is a tremendous teaching tool. As we hear those words and have ash smeared on our foreheads, it is humbling, it is instructive. It brings a renewed sobriety that sets the stage for Lent. If you have never participated in Ash Wednesday or Lent, I encourage you to do so. I welcome you to a wonderful encounter with the Almighty.
This year I am longing for Lent more than I can ever remember. I cannot wait for this season of seeking God to begin in earnest. I want the Lord to search me and try me, removing any wrong way—and lukewarm way—in my life. In the depths of my soul, I am aching for Ash Wednesday to usher in this powerful season of Lent. I am yearning for God to bring fresh transformation to my life!

© 2016 Glenn E. Myers

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Cascading Light, Fountain of Life, River of Delight



How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.
                        -Psalm 36:7-9

God’s light cascades down without ceasing to our physical world. God’s life showers down as a fountain from our Creator’s presence to earth! Without divine light and life, we could see nothing. However, in the Almighty’s light, we see light!

Catching Glimpses of God's Glory
For the past number of years I have practiced catching glimpses of God's glory throughout the day. Perhaps the morning sky displays God's splendor as I drive to work in the morning, or maybe a glint of sunshine on the pond outside my office reflects the Lord's glory. Such glimmerings of light are but a refraction of divine light and resplendence. They offer us a window through which I may see--if I am attentive--a peek of uncreated Light and Glory that cascades down through creation. 

To catch such a glimpse of God's glory can turn our whole day around. 

Not only do we catch a glimpse of divine glory, we must respond. Like a cosmic game of "pitch and catch" with our Heavenly Father, he sends us glory and we send back praise. 

2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Light and the Glory


“God is light, and in him is no darkness.”
   -1 John 1:5 

Light is one of the most powerful images of God. God is light. Light of the Divinity is brilliant, blinding all who try to look directly into it. 

Ultimately God is beyond our comprehension. Standing outside the time-space continuum in which we live, God is above anything our created minds could grasp. The image of physical light gives us but a tiny glimpse, a hint, as to God's brilliance. Who and what God is surpasses human understanding. 

God's light displays God's glory.
The term "glory" has been all but lost in our contemporary culture. About the only place we use the term is in sports, describing the short-lived honor of winning an athletic contest. While such recognition is worthy, it falls far short of genuine glory.

True glory is the splendor of the skies, bursting with color and new life at dawn or blazing across the whole horizon at sunset. Glory is displayed in brilliance of light and breath-taking grandeur. Beyond human accomplishment, true glory lifts our eyes toward the heavens and transports us into the transcendent. 

Such cosmic glory, in turn, points beyond the material world. Glory that we see with our physical eyes is but a window to the uncreated glory of the Divine. God, enthroned in eternity, flashes light and splendor and majesty. Whenever people in Scripture had opportunity to peer into the spiritual realm, the eternities of heaven, they stumbled for words to describe the resplendence of God's glory. (Rev 4)

That glory, then, cascades down into creation. The physical heavens declare God's glory, as Psalm 19 tells us. As we see light and splendor across the skies, we get a taste of the divine glory flowing from God's throne!

2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

Sunday, January 22, 2017

God’s Glory All Around Us: Opening our Spiritual Eyes



“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe.”
-Ephesians 1:18-19

Last Sunday morning on the way to church the sun saw shining beautifully in the crisp, cold air. As the rays of light glimmered on the snow, I caught a glimpse of the glory of God.

God’s divine splendor beams down from his throne into our world. The light we see here is a reflection of the Almighty’s uncreated brilliance. Sunlight is a manifestation of God’s resplendence. Indeed the brightness I see is a theophany—a glimpse of God’s self-revelation.

Often we miss God’s glory. Instead of seeing with spiritual eyes, we simply look on with natural sight. In Ephesians 1:18-19, however, Paul prays that the eyes of our hearts would be opened up to see the invisible realities of the spiritual world. In particular, he prays that our eyes would be able to see God’s incomprehensible riches, power and hope poured out toward us. In the same way, the Lord can open our eyes to see God’s glory declared in the heavens (Psalm 19:1).

This year I pray that the eyes of my heart would indeed be opened to see spiritual realities manifest all around me. In particular, I want to behold God’s glory overflowing into the physical world all around me!

2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Light Shining from Heaven: Epiphany


“In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. . . . The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world.”
-John 1:4-5, 9

During these dark days of December and January, we crave light. We need the sun’s warmth when nighttime temperatures plunge below zero. We need the sun’s light to give us energy and cheer. We need the sun’s rays to offer us hope of springtime just a few months away.

Although barely two weeks into winter, the days are already becoming longer. I find myself peering out the window each morning, watching for the sun to rise. Then, especially in late afternoon I can see how much longer the light lingers in the evening sky.

Jesus came into the world as light. When light shines forth, the source is not changed or diminished. That source keeps shining as if nothing had departed from it. So our Lord’s light shines in our lives and in the whole world.

Our God is pure light. God shines forth without ever being diminished or changed. God shines forth in creation. Every beam of light from the sun and the stars is but a reflection of God’s light beyond our seeing.

As we watch the sun get stronger week after week this winter, let us catch a glimpse of God’s invisible light. Let us see God’s light shining in the darkness, transforming us with his brightness and warmth!

2017 © Glenn E. Myers

This series is Creation Proclaiming God’s Divine Nature, as Romans 1:20 declares, “For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made.”

Monday, December 19, 2016

Journeying with Mary toward Bethlehem: Advent Breathless Anticipation



Mary knew: her body told her,
She was about to deliver.
It would not be long now
Until the Baby would be born.

Soon contractions would begin,
Mother breathless in labor.
At the thought of her Baby,
Mary even now breathless with expectation.

Mary’s imminent delivery:
Deliverance for the world!
God’s deliverance from slavery
To sin, to Satan, to self.

Such deliverance from on high:
Each of us needs today.
Setting us free from self
Releasing us from bondage.

Many things hold us in chains:
We pretend they are not there,
Yet we know we need help
From Jesus to set us free.

Mary’s soon delivery:
Deliverance for us all.
With Mary we now wait,
With breathless expectation!
  
© 2016 Glenn E. Myers

Friday, December 9, 2016

Journeying with Mary toward Bethlehem: Advent Hope


The road to Bethlehem was long,
Bumpy, dusty, tiring.
Nine months pregnant,
Mary uncomfortable and exhausted.

Weariness faded the memory
Of Gabriel’s visit,
Of God’s promise,
Of the purpose for this all.

Now it was pure stamina,
Discipline to stay focused.
Obedience keeps saying “yes,”
Fortitude, pure and simple.

But behind such endurance
Lay hope—divine hope.
God’s Spirit traveled with Mary,
Albeit hid in the dust from the road.

God’s Spirit journeys with us too,
As we walk beside Mary.
We follow in obedience,
Persevering in spiritual pilgrimage.

Even if we cannot feel it,
Hope within disappoints not.
God’s plans still stand firm,
Buoying us up in hope!


© 2016 Glenn E. Myers