Archives For June 2013

angerAll families are weird. We often don’t realize just how weird until after we leave home and get a little distance from them. But then we see it, and wonder how we hadn’t noticed it before. My family was weird in lots of ways ~ but then, mine was a pastor’s family, so some manner of weird was pretty much guaranteed.

Take anger, for example. Anger wasn’t allowed in my family. Well, that’s not quite true. Dad could get angry. He was allowed. But none of us kids could. At least, not openly.

I remember one time when I was around 7 or 8 I got so angry at my parents that  I stormed to my room and slammed the door shut. Not quite understanding how sound waves worked at the time, I proceeded to yell and stomp and give my parents a piece of my mind (from behind that closed door). Some time later I learned that my parents had heard every word of my tirade, and apparently found the whole episode laugh-out-loud funny…which was really confusing to me, because I knew if I had so much as whispered to their faces any of the things I yelled from behind that door, I would have found myself neck deep in a steaming vat of trouble. So how did the presence of a closed door make forbidden behavior suddenly permissible, and even funny?

Like I said. Weird.

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man-on-knees

“Surely His salvation is near to those who fear Him, that glory may dwell in our land.” ~ Psalm 85:9

I love that phrase, “that glory may dwell in our land.” Just imagine for a moment: What would that be like ~ for glory to dwell in our land? Beauty, certainly. Glorious beauty…in the morning when you wake to the peace of sunbeams pouring through your window…in the faces of your family members as you greet each other at the start of the day. And along with beauty, a deep awareness of the sacredness of every other human heart ~ entire communities living under a canopy of grace. And those are just the fringes of the glory we would see.

That phrase speaks so profoundly of God’s good desire for our lives, his passionate longing for our full restoration, his love for beauty. Can you imagine what would it be like for glory to dwell in your land ~ the land of your heart, your family, your city, your nation?

The next two verses of the Psalm describe what that glory, when manifested, looks like. It’s the place where:

  • Lovingkindness (that is, loving regard & acts of kindness) and Truth meet together.
  • Righteousness (living in the truth of who we are in Christ) and peace kiss each other.
  • Truth springs from the earth (that is, from us) and righteousness looks down from heaven (that is, from God).
  • God gives what is good.
  • The land yields its produce.
  • God’s grace goes before him and makes a way for those who follow him.

A beautiful picture of what happens when the Kingdom of God becomes present in our midst.

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