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Sunday, February 6, 2011

Sabbath Rest: God "goes public" with glory

Recently in my city, a heavy ice storm stopped our usual buzzing around, and all suburbia simply stayed indoors and stared out windows. It is easy to gaze out in growing seasons at nature's flourishes--butterflies and birds and bees--and see God's glory all around. It is easy to be a child and glory in any season...

But it is more difficult when adult life grows inconvenient and uncomfortable because of weather, when the places we looked for those renewals of hope, signs of life--a newly ripe tomato or a blooming squash plant--are too far away on either side of our internal calendar. How do we muster glory when all we have out our back window is a blanket of ice glaring back at us. More difficult, but not impossible...

This week, I read reflections on the magnificence of God's glory displayed through John Piper's book, Desiring God:
In creation, God 'went public' with the glory that reverberates joyfully between the Father and the Son. There is something about the fullness of God's joy that inclines it to overflow. There is an expansive quality to His joy. It wants to share itself. The impulse to create the world was not from weakness, as though God were lacking in some perfection that creation could supply. 'It is no argument of the emptiness or deficiency of a fountain, that it is inclined to overflow.'
But that overflow glory and fullness of joy are more subtly presented some times of year than others. Still, I set my heart to find it, even now, and this is what I saw:

While all the rest of the bird-world stayed hidden away, one lone little bird, colorless and without any graceful song to recommend it, perched at the tip top of a sunlit tree. What was in that little bird's mind, I wondered? Indulge me in a bit of anthropomorphous thinking. I couldn't help figure that this little bird considered the beauty of the scene worth the lonely perch, the chill in the air...the sacrifice, however sacrifice should define itself in bird terms.

Subtle, but a glory to be embraced even in the depths of winter.

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