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Archive for November 28th, 2016

A couple of years ago, Natalie was coming back from the UK and I went to pick her up at Dulles.  I decided to go early and see the Udvar-Hazy Museum at Dulles.  It is one of the Smithsonian museums, specifically the Air and Space Museum:  NASA space capsules, World War I airplanes…in a huge place.  I experienced a problem at the museum:  with every turn there were was another amazing aircraft but I had no one to share in the enjoyment.  “Look at this Natalie…Isn’t that great” “Mark, take a look at this”.  Praise and thanksgiving is communal.  Not having my wife or a friend, or a family member to be there to share the enjoyment was a different kind of loneliness…it was frustrating and the enjoyment was banging about in my heart and mind wanting to get out. C. S. Lewis:

“I think we delight to praise what we enjoy because the praise not merely expresses but completes the enjoyment; it is its appointed consummation. It is not out of compliment that lovers keep on telling one another how beautiful they are; the delight is incomplete till it is expressed. It is frustrating to have discovered a new author and not to be able to tell anyone how good he is; to come suddenly, at the turn of the road, upon some mountain valley of unexpected grandeur and then to have to keep silent because the people with you care for it no more than for a tin can in the ditch; to hear a good joke and find no one to share it with. . . . The Scotch catechism says that man’s chief end is ‘to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.’ But we shall then know that these are the same thing. Fully to enjoy is to glorify. In commanding us to glorify Him, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”

“In commanding us to glorify HIm, God is inviting us to enjoy Him.”  Amen.  Further, this shows that the Lord certainly does not need our praise and thanks for the Lord to feel good about Himself (!) but it does show that He made us to praise and give thanks…so we are not alone in enjoyment of all His gifts nor of the joy of knowing the Lord and serving and loving one another. As He is absolutely, He is absolutely humble:  He can be praised.  He alone can complete the enjoyment and with each other in the communion of saints.  As He said of Adam, it is not good for the man to be alone. He made us for the communion of praise, indeed with all creation.  The last verse of the last Psalm, 150: 

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Everything that has breath, the Creation will when it is recreated in the last harvest home in Christ’s coming.

Only God, who is the humblest of all, can be praised with full heart and throat for all His benefits to us.  One leper returned to Jesus to give Him thanks and praise at His feet.  Only this Man, Jesus, could handle the praise and in the healed leper’s praise was the consummation of the healing of his soul. So many, like the other 9 healed men, want the benefits from the Lord, but not to return to give Him thanks. None of us is entitled for all has been given.  Once we think we are entitled, we have lost the title of believer as we look only to ourselves. The one healed man returned and gave thanks to the Giver of all. The Word of Christ, as it drew forth the disease from the man’s body, drew forth his soul to the one who forgives for us to live.   Our faith, by God’s gift in Christ is a minority movement in the world, away from the world, to serve in the world.  “Grant that we may love what You have commanded and desire what You promise, that among the many changes of this world our hearts may be fixed where trues are found, through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord…”. May Your Word shine forth undimmed into the night of these last days of great distress. And on this day Clement of Rome was martyred by drowning, wrote: “Let us fix our eyes on the blood of Christ, realizing how precious it is to His Father, since it was poured out for our salvation and brought the grace of repentance to the whole world” (1 Clement 6:31).

 

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