Magnificence

Memory or even pictures do not do justice to the feast that my eyes devoured this weekend. My brother in law, to the delight of family, friends and community, hosted an amazing Independence Day celebration. Let’s just say that he is obsessed with fireworks, and what a great excuse to turn his property into a party. And he has passed that obsession on to his sons, who took classes with him in commercial grade pyrotechnics. He lives on an acreage which is well suited to the task of delighting the crowd with shimmering splendor. To this end, he and his entire family devote untold hours of thought and sweat into choreography that rivals that of renowned professionals. The music, the display, the property, and yes – the food – are coordinated to provide attendees with a memorable experience. Many, including myself, were hoarse from the exclamations of wonder at the incessant barrage and magnitude of sparkling beauty which, for the better part of a half hour, filled the sky. And the decibel levels delighted the males in the crowd while children were equipped with headphones to muffle the intensity.

Looking up, mouth agape, enraptured by the sparkling beauty of it all, I imagined what it will be like in the world for which we were created. Beauty resonates so deeply in our souls that I cannot help but think we were designed for magnificence. Our attraction to artistry signals unseen yet impending revelation. “How great is the Lord, how worthy of honor! … (He) made the heavens. Honor and beauty are His escort; worship and magnificence the attendants of His shrine.” Ps 96:4-6 Knox Reading these words the next morning after such a display of human ingenuity, my mind drifted into possible scenarios of the incredible glory that will accompany His celestial dominion. It will be breathtaking! God delights in welcoming us into such majesty, but we seem disposed to cringe in guilt and unbelief from such a prospect. Instead we live like ants, heads down bustling around building our little dirt domiciles, trying to make the best of a bent world instead of welcoming the enduring existence promised to those who choose it.

“Man made towers – High rise to the sky – Will never reach – It’s much too high – You can simulate – But as hard as we try – It’s just a reply – It’s just a reply. “ (“Statues” by Remedy Drive) As we construct our little plastic paradise, our lofty but ineffectual attempts to eradicate the reign of sin and evil arouse longings for some obscure intended destiny. Man is very creative in his endeavors, not surprisingly since he is made in the image of the Creator Himself. Look at the cathedrals, sculptures, paintings, and so many other art forms that evoke awe and wonder. Then watch the sunset or the ocean or the mountains and realize “it’s just a reply”. A noble effort and a fitting response of the creature honoring its designer.

Yet we are invited into the dance, the adventure that is life unlimited and unceasing. Despite being limited and prone to self determination as we are, we are invited to participate in such unimaginable splendor that it takes our breath away! What a destiny is possible to us! At a time when science traces our lineage to the animals, but is still unable to dissect what constitutes human consciousness, I will gladly throw my lot in with all of nature in celebration of such a magnanimous Creator! What a day it will be when He comes to establish righteousness and restore what sin – our personal treachery and failure – has ravaged!

“The Lord is king now, He has put the world in order, never to be thrown into confusion again; He will give the nations a just award. Rejoice, heaven, and let earth be glad; let the sea, and all the sea contains, give thunderous applause. Smiling the fields, and all the burden they bear; no tree in the forest but will sing for joy to greet the Lord’s coming. He comes to rule the earth; brings the world justice, to every race of man it’s due award. “ Psalm 96:10-13 Knox

‘He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!’ Revelation 22:20 ESV

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