If there is one ecumenical feature of most theologies it is this: God sees and hears. He is omnipresent. Yet if there is one feature of most theologies that quickly slips from conscious awareness, it would be this one. Most sin is a temporary denial of how we live publicly. Addiction is the classic example. Most addicts will not indulge their addictions when a spouse, boss or parent is present. It’s amazing how much self-control we can have when people are watching...
This can too quickly evoke visions of a heavenly hall monitor or a parent saying, “Watch yourself young man, because I have my eye on you.” This isn’t the picture God gives us. Instead, the eyes of God are our hope. They are a blessing. When he sees us it means that he is close, and there is nothing better than to be in the presence of the Lord. So the picture is not that of a heavenly gestapo. It is of heaven penetrating earth – God with us. His presence reminds us that we are in his holy presence, in which we can see that sin is a destructive intruder. With the Light shining clearly, we can run from sin and death, and we can be imitators of the Light. His presence is our protection.
Yet there are old instincts in us. We still have some affinity with the darkness. We don’t want to go to that darkness all the time. We only want to go there when our interests diverge from God’s stated will. For example, we prefer the darkness when we believe that someone who disrespected us needs a good cursing out, done only, of course, when no one is looking, or when our lusts need to be topped off. We think, God will understand. We are only human, after all.
Lord, have mercy. And he does.
The Merciful One draws us back into the light. He reveals our deceptive and self-destructive tendency to hide in the shadows. He proclaims forgiveness that has been assured by the cross of Jesus. He surrounds us, once again, in unfailing love. We are left with a greater desire to see reality and remain in the light.
Wednesday, November 03, 2010
Living in the light always, not just publically