To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.
~William Henry Channing

Monday, May 31, 2010

Ordinary Made Extraordinary

Every Lord’s Day the Church gathers and goes to heaven. We collectively ascend Mount Zion to the city of the living God, heavenly Jerusalem where we gather with innumerable angels and the assembly of the firstborn to meet with God who has promised to meet with us through his Son, Christ Jesus.

But we look around and all we see are ordinary things and it causes us to wonder if this is so. We’re with ordinary people, eating ordinary bread, using ordinary language in an ordinary building. But by faith we understand that these are not ordinary people – we are God’s own children, called out and set aside by God himself. And this is not ordinary bread, because Christ our Lord has told us that it is his body. And our language is not ordinary language, because the words we speak are the words of life and are the language of the King. And this is not an ordinary building because it is the gathering place of God’s elect ones.

Let us not be deceived by the ordinariness of it all. Rather, let us realize that through the ordinary God makes himself known to us – transforming the ordinary into something quite extraordinary. This is all apprehended by faith – the same faith through which we are saved and are being saved. Our response to this is to ascribe to the Lord the glory due him.

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
the God of glory thunders,
the Lord, over many waters.
4 The voice of the Lord is powerful;
the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
and Sirion like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
8 The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

9 The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
May the Lord bless his people with peace!