Friday, 13 November 2009

Sign of Salvation

I read Isaiah 11:10 recently where it talks of a banner being raised up for the whole earth to flock towards.

Looking up the Hebrew word translated "banner" is revealing! In short it means something lifted up, a standard, a rallying point. It's a prophetic reference to Jesus' own crucifixion (like the bronze serpent was). The God-Man lifted up so that all who flee and flock to him might take refuge in him when his wrath finally falls on the whole earth and the grave and the sea spew up their dead ready for the Judgment. What an awesome and awful moment that will be!

Those found taking refuge in Jesus, whilst all this incredible righteous justice is being executed on the wicked, will be found to be from all different places and walks of life.

I experienced a tiny slice of that huge diversity spectrum last night when I met with a bunch of people from my church for a couple of hours in my home. If it wasn’t for what Jesus has been up to in each of our lives, I can honestly say I would never have had the privilege of meeting any of them.

Among the seven of us were represented the male and the female, the single and the married, the parent and the non-parent(!?), the young and the old, the able and the disabled, the black and the white, the rich and the poor, the socially connected and the socially disenfranchised, the tall and the short etc…

Last night, (with tissues at the ready) we made ourselves vulnerable to each other as we shared something of our life stories; the pains and pleasures, the tears and laughter and the expected and unexpected turns that have shaped us for better or worse, into the people we are today.

It all came to a wonderful conclusion when we together at the end rose to worship the living, eternal God awesomely revealed through Jesus Christ.

The song we sang (How Great Thou Art) and the prayers we prayed are etched on my memory, not because I wrote them down (although I do try and keep a journal of these get-togethers) but because that night, new bonds were formed between us. It wasn’t plastic church, aka the hypocrisy of pretence. We didn’t pass like ships in the night, we weren’t present in body only, but in our mind and heart elsewhere. We were together on the Calvary road and going in the same direction.

One person prayed Lord if I had my life again, I wouldn't change a thing of it. Having heard something more of their life history that evening, what they uttered to God was nothing short of breathtaking! I was deeply humbled and in awe at the grace of God that they could pray that prayer with such sincerity of heart.

The rest of soul that God offers to all through Jesus, this root of Jesse, is truly glorious, and only he can give it.

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