Daily Office Meditations: Proper 9 – Friday
(5) O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot. (6) The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.
(15) As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.
(26) For who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
1 Samuel 17:26
(34) Then Peter opened his mouth and said: ‘In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality.
(11) Then a voice came from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’
Alright. There was just too much in today’s daily office. This is gonna be a bullet-point style meditation (each bullet is a meditation on the verse in order):
- God is so much better than we think He is. Now, I want to clarify: you might say that you think God is good (all the time, God is good), but you don’t act as if it is true. At least, I don’t. I still imagine in my head this fatherly figure who cheers for me when I succeed, but shakes His head in disappointment when I fail. This is not God. Yes, God hates sin, He hates how it puts a wedge between Himself and us. He hates where it leads us to distrust Him. Verses like this one in the Psalm remind me that God ONLY has good thoughts and plans for us. That is God’s position towards us. He is not disappointed in us. As Bishop Jones once said, “You are the failure God always knew you would be.” The point of that statement is that He loves you anyway, He died for you anyways, He has good (read “better than you can imagine”) plans for you anyways. You and I have a goodly inheritance indeed.
- When the Bible talks about seeing the “likeness” of God, it is talking about the ultimate fulfillment of one’s life. There is a part of “goodness” that is merely knowing God. It flows out from true knowledge of Him. Is there anyone in your life who you feel has a similar effect on you? Anyone who is so good, that when you get to know them or think of them or interact with them you almost feel like you’ve accomplished some moral aim? I know a few people who come to mind. God is like that, but soooo much more. It says in the New Testament that when we see Him, we shall be like Him. There is a direct link between our knowing God and our “goodness.” I want to point out here that I am referring to the type of “knowing” that is referenced when the Bible says, “Adam knew Eve and she became pregnant…” A deep intimate knowledge of God is required for transformation.
- I love David. I LOVE David. Seriously, who is that awesome? This is just a kid. Possibly 10 years (or more) younger than I am now, and he already figured out that God is “bigger than the boogeyman.” He hears about this giant/champion of the Philistines and he immediately thinks of God. We could learn from this lesson. We each face giants, dragons, and mountains in our way. We have to overcome the tragedy and malevolence of life, and, if we could focus on magnifying God instead of the problem, we might be able to approach each new challenge with faith instead of fear. “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
- Equality was invented, revealed, discovered by the first Christians. The radical idea in the Bible is that the locus of responsibility lies with the individual and that this individual contains the image of God. This is the basis for Western thought. When Peter says, “God shows no partiality,” that was a thought totally foreign to the cultures of the day. God’s “chosen people” were the Israelites and that made them special. Then, through a miraculous about-face, God reveals to the early church that He desires that all men be saved! This is radical.
- Lastly, in the Gospel, we see God’s reaction to each and every Christian who enters into baptism, “You are my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.” We need to grasp that message. It is the call of God to rise to the wonderful place He has foreordained for us. He longs for His sons to live lives worthy of the calling, but the calling is made in love and not intimidation. The calling to be who we are in Christ. I began and will end this post by stating that God is so much better than we can imagine.