October 17, 2017

What Belongs to All of Us (2)

hstdf.jpg

Isaiah 40:25 To whom then will you compare me,
that I should be like him? says the Holy One.
26 Lift up your eyes on high and see:
who created these?
He who brings out their host by number,
calling them all by name,
by the greatness of his might,
and because he is strong in power
not one is missing.
27 Why do you say, O Jacob,
and speak, O Israel,
“My way is hidden from the LORD,
and my right is disregarded by my God?”
28 Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength;
they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
they shall walk and not faint.


Comment
: This is OUR God.

Prayer: Father, in all our endless searches, our many disappointments, our failures and our darkness, you are our God. We contemplate the wonder of your existence, of your creation of the universe and your sustaining of that universe; we see the details and designs that delight you, and we are amazed and over-awed. There is no comparison, for there is no other thought like you, no analogy that does a micro-second’s justice to the greatness that is you.

From you, all things derive their existence this very moment. And to you, all things gladly return. To you is due endless worship from all that you have made. In you, through you, for you is all the glory that is glory, all the worth that is worth, all the good that is good.

How, O Lord, can we comprehend that you would take notice of us? How, Lord, can you bend low to pick up what, alone in all your creation, has risen to defy you? How can you show the kindness of a father to those who have taken your image and marred it with trash and perversion? How can you love what is so unlovable, so unlovely, so determined not to love or be loved?

So unlike us, yet so ready to love us as only a perfect Father can love us. You have given us your Spirit and made us alive. You have crucified your beloved for our forgiveness. You have given us legs to walk, eyes to see, hearts to feel. We are alive from the dead. It’s all your doing. We should be the dust of the earth and less than that in your eyes.

Your ways are truly past understanding, Father. Why did you not walk away from us? Why have you not walked away from me? Why the second, third and three-hundred thousandth chance to live, love and worship again? Why walk with us and pick us up? Why hold us when we are faint? Why not let us fall, and let the gravity of our sinful humanness take us to the bottom of the ocean of your forgetfulness?

Somehow, it is because of who you are. For your name’s sake. For your glory. Not to us, not for us, not because of us. You. You! YOU!! You are God, and there is none like you. Show me how to worship such a God, such a friend. There are no words.

Father, forgive us when we say you have forgotten us, that you have disregarded us. Our smallness of gratitude is our shame.

O Lord, YOU are a God like none other.

In Jesus, Amen.

Comments

  1. Mike,

    You are on a roll. Go with this brother! Great core stuff. I need to read this and apply this. Thanks

  2. That magnificent picture, which I assume is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field, always leaves me utterly astounded. One astronomer commented that that particular exposure size covered an area of the sky equivalent to a grain of sand held at arm’s length. How little we know ,can imagine or fathom the Hand !

    And yet His continual affairs and attentions is to mankind and our and my particulars. Does He take sabbaticals and visit the planets in that third spiral galaxy from the left side? And yet, still I have my petty pity parties, harsh outlooks and an occasional good side. He says: “when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth? ”

    Oh Lord, spare me from my limits.

  3. This became midday prayer today instead of the office.

    Outstanding!

    Thankyou Michael.

  4. Virgil Newkirk says:

    Keep this up Michael and I just might start thinking about throwing away a button that I’ve kept in my desk drawer for years. It reads:

    “It’s not God I have a problem with….it’s His fan club that drives me nuts”

    …and just as seriously, allow me to add:

    In your:
    What Belongs to ALL of Us 1&2, along with your comments and prayers (both of which touched me in a significant way…see comment above) it seems to me that they have the potential of helping us understand and experience Paul’s advice to Timothy, found at:

    2 Tim 2:19-26

    Nevertheless, the foundation of God stands sure, having this seal:
    The Lord knows them that are His….and let everyone who names the name of Christ, depart from iniquity.
    In a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver — but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor. If anyone will purge himself from these, he shall be vessel unto honor, set apart, and appropriate for the master’s use….prepared unto every good work. Be running from youthful desires & be pursuing righteousness, faith, love, peace….with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart, but foolish and unlearned questions….avoid ! Knowing that they are producing strifes.
    The servant of the Lord must not strive….but be gentle to all; apt to teach, patient, in gentle, confident strength, instructing those that oppose themselves if God might give them a change of mind to the acknowledging of the truth. And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the Slanderer/Accuser (devil) who have been absolutely taken captive by him at his will.

    I would say this goes for your:

    Better writer gets a turn thing, too.

    Thanks for the EULOGIA..blessing.

  5. Bob–

    You’re close. It’s the original one, the Hubble Deep Field-North, from about 1997. And you’re right about the scale. They’re a great illustration for this passage in Isaiah.

    Michael–

    Right on. This is exactly the attitude that’s missing from online apologetics, or much of religious discussion on the web of any kind. God is our God, and we are His. All of us. And He’s greater than our understanding.

  6. In the post evangelical wilderness I have come to deeply appreciate written prayers. Some are the prayers of the ancients others are the prayers of those who write liturgy and now the prayers of Michael Spencer. Some days the only praying that I do is in words that have been authored by someone else. But since it is the same Holy Spirit at work in me as in the author–well let’s just say it works for me.

    Thank you Michael and please keep them coming if you feel so led.