Worship Belongs to the Little Children

“Out of the mouths of infants You have ordained praise for Yourself, because of the foe and the adversary.”

“Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to such as these.”

“Truly, truly I say to you, unless you receive the Kingdom of Heaven like a little child, you shall not enter it.”

“Unless you become as little children, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”

“I thank You, Father, that Thou hast hidden these things from the prudent and the wise, and hast revealed them to little children, yeah, Father, for so it pleased you.”

The Kingdom of God is as open to children as it is to anyone. Children can know God. It is not harder for a child to worship God than for an adult. It is not more difficult for God to reveal Himself to a baby than to a grown-up.

The entirety of our being is made by and for God. Therefore Continue reading “Worship Belongs to the Little Children”

The King’s Quest for His Bride

Once there was a king, who was both very good and very wise. His castle was a most beautiful thing, and just as impenetrable. It was built out of a mountain, and its highest tower was almost always hidden in clouds. When it was not hidden in clouds, it shone too gloriously to look at in the sun. Upon its ramparts grew grasses and flowers and every kind of fruiting tree or bush, and every kind of flowering one also. The castles of most kings are barren things, built out of dead stone, and hung for beauty with more things more or less dead and very defective for beauty to the natural beauty. This castle was built out of a living mountain, and for decoration it had real decoration – real and natural beauties, most of them good both for beauty to the eye and for delight to the mouth and body. His kingdom should have been as lovely as his castle. For the most part it was, and he was striving to make it more completely so. Continue reading “The King’s Quest for His Bride”

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Thinking like the Brides of God

There are so many things that considering that Christians as the brides of Jesus Christ, God the Son and true Man, spotless and worthy by His Blood, makes plain and clear.

Such a thought so perfectly fits and describes so much of the glory of our faith and salvation. St. Paul writes that the woman and man who unite are made one flesh, and the soul saved by the Lord, united with Him, is married to Him as one spirit with Him – the union, far closer, far all-permeating, far more encompassing, far more transformative, of which the marriage of the man and the woman is the shadow, the echo, the illustration.1 There is such a similarity between this thought (and this passage in St. Paul’s Epistles) and the prayer of Jesus on the night before He died, that He would be in us as the Father in Him and that we would be united in Him as He and the Father are one. Continue reading “Thinking like the Brides of God”

Celibacy, Hospitality, and Church Leadership

What is “Church Leadership?” What does it even mean?

Why do so many (at least in Evangelical circles of various denominations) consider lifelong dedicated celibacy so lowly? Why is it something almost no one considers, while marriage is lauded everywhere? Why is it something no one sees and no one is encouraged to consider?

Maybe the two questions are related? Maybe “Church Leadership” and celibacy, though not identical, should often be seen together?

What if “Church Leadership” is more than preaching sermons and getting to know “church members” and “counseling” people? What if “Church Leadership” should mean being an example to both the brethren and those who do not yet believe? What if, anyone who isn’t so, is by definition not a “Church Leader?” Continue reading “Celibacy, Hospitality, and Church Leadership”

Heaven: To See the Face of God in Christ and Be Like Him

“I shall see Thy face in righteousness; I will be satisfied when I awake after Thy likeness.”

“Little children, it is not yet manifest what we shall be, but we know that when He appears we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.”

“Thou hast made them to be a kingdom and priests to our God.”

“We who behold with unveiled faces the glory of the Lord as in a mirror are being transformed into that same image as from glory to glory.”

“Now we know in part; then we shall know in full. Now we see as in a mirror dimly; then we shall see face to face.”

“He predestined us to be conformed to the image of Christ so that He should be the firstborn among many brethren.”

Heaven is the fulfillment of our nature. It is to see Him whom we were created to see, and by seeing to be like Him. It is the Beatific Vision: the direct, immediate (not mediated) presence of God in and to the soul.

In Heaven, we shall be like Christ. Continue reading “Heaven: To See the Face of God in Christ and Be Like Him”

Ask Not About Assurance: Know the Son (Thoughts on 1st John)

“God has given us eternal life and this life is in His Son… this is the testimony He has given us concerning His Son: whoever has the Son has eternal life. Whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. Little children, I am writing these things to you who believe in the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.”

It is all about the Son. It is all in the Son, the Son who is the All in All. There is not and never shall nor can be any assurance of salvation that is separable from assurance of Christ: assurance that God’s testimony is truth, that His Son is who He claimed to be, the Savior of the world.

When the Apostle John wrote that he wanted us to know that we have eternal life, this is what he meant: not some test to determine whether we are in fact “saved” Continue reading “Ask Not About Assurance: Know the Son (Thoughts on 1st John)”

Loving Soldiers and All Men and Why Christians Cannot Go to War

We are made to love the Lord God with all our hearts, and to love our neighbors as our own selves. That means all of our neighbors – all fellow human beings are our neighbors, the children of Adam and Eve and our brothers and sisters, created in the image and likeness of God Himself, each one’s name known specially to God before the creation of the world.

Indeed, we are to love our neighbors as Jesus Christ Himself has loved us. He laid down His life for us.

We do not get to pick and choose who is our neighbor, whom we must love as we love ourselves, love as Jesus loved us. Continue reading “Loving Soldiers and All Men and Why Christians Cannot Go to War”

What It Really Means to Take the Name of the Lord in Vain

“You shall not take the name of YHWH your God in vain.”

“Father, hallowed be Your Name.”

God is Holy. His Greatness – His Truth – His Love – His Goodness, all these call us to approach Him and to speak His Name with reverence and with joy, not flippantly, not carelessly, but meaning what we say as nearly as we can, knowing that He of Whom we speak is so real and true we cannot grasp Him, so high and loving and beautiful we stand in awe of His supreme goodness. Continue reading “What It Really Means to Take the Name of the Lord in Vain”