Wednesday, February 19, 2014

"More Than Spectators"

      During a visit to New York City over the Thanksgiving holidays, our family attended an off-Broadway presentation of Charles Dickens, "A Christmas Carol."  The play featured only five actors, who somehow pulled off a very touching and entertaining version of the classic story.  Frances managed (at a very reasonable price) to purchase second row seats for the play, which in a small, intimate playhouse, made our experience all the more moving and the skill of the actors all the more impressive. 

     The intimacy of the setting provided such presence and atmosphere that I think we would have enjoyed a less virtuoso performance.  Being close to the actors and the action drew us into the story itself.  We felt ourselves to be a part of the presentation (the stated goal of many theater actors, by the way).  This made us more than spectators. We were there, so much so that the conclusion of the play elicited feelings of sad departure from another place, and another world.

    "Thou wilt show me the path of life.  In Thy presence is fullness of joy; at Thy right hand are pleasures forevermore" (Psalm 16:11).

    God calls us to Himself as beloved sons and daughters in Christ.  He involves Himself in our lives when we believe in the Lord Jesus, and beckons us to involve ourselves in His life.  "Draw nigh to God, and He will draw nigh unto you" (James 4:8).  Such intimacy requires faith.  We cannot see, hear, or touch God.  Nor does He always appear to be present and active in our lives.  Thus, we must believe the Word of God that declares our Lord to be the great and dynamic fact of our existence.  "In Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28).   Close and realized relationship with our Heavenly Father also requires application.  Growing knowledge of God does not simply happen, nor would we want to merely be zapped with Divine light apart from our involved response.   The Lord made us to engage ourselves with Him, believing that through Christ, we can and we must.  Thus, we actively avail ourselves of the gifts He provides whereby we increasingly know Him in the blessed confidence that He knows us.

    The latter point may illustrate the most important aspect of the play we attended.  The actors seemed very aware of their audience (even at times directing conversation to us, as if we were a part of the play).  They knew us, just as their performance allowed us to know them.  A mutual relationship of sorts ensued, as all true relationship involves.  In similar manner, our Heavenly Father calls us to be more than spectators in our bond with Him.  His Word promises that He knows His trusting children, and that we can know Him as we seek Him in the Spirit-illuminated pages of Scripture.  God comes with His Book, as the saying goes, and a trusting, reverent approach to the Bible promises Heart to heart communion with our Heavenly Father.  The Bible is a voice, the voice of God.  Let us open its holy pages in such awareness, realizing that Someone waits to meet us there, and then to lead us throughout our lives in the increasing awareness that He knows us, and desires that we may know Him.

"Ye have known God, or rather, are known of God."
(Galatians 4:9)

Weekly Memory Verse
  They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.
(Psalm 126:5)

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