The Special of the Day… From the Orange Moon Cafe…
In a service yesterday, I stepped up to the pulpit ready to deliver a message on Luke 11:1: "Lord, teach us to pray." However, just before beginning, the thought occurred to me that Isaiah 1:1-8 might serve as a better message for the occasion. The theme: "Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty."
I considered the option because Frances and I had just sung one of our songs, entitled "Holy Is Thy Name." I wrote the song more than thirty years ago. We have probably sung it in more services than any other. I took what I hope was the Lord's cue and shared a sermon on the passage in Isaiah, focusing on the Biblical meaning of "holy" as meaning sacred, or set apart. We considered the truth that God is set apart or holy unto Himself, meaning He is sanctified to His own being, character, and nature. He can only be who He is, and He can only act in accordance with who and what He. This constitutes holiness in its essence, which leads to corresponding fruit in the expression of thought, attitude, purpose, word, and deed. First, God is who He is. From this holy fount of perfection, He does what He does. "Thou art good, and doest good" (Psalm 119:68). No more definitive definition of "holy" exists in the pages of Scripture.
I shared the message, prayed, and then we prepared to sing several hymns to close the service. Frances and I use hymn sheets in most of our services rather than books, which are heavy and bulky to transport. Frances placed the sheet on the pulpit. I looked down, and discovered the next hymn to be sung (which I had not seen) was "Holy, Holy, Holy," one of the greatest anthems of our faith. I pondered the words with wonder, and then said to the congregants, "Well, what do you know! Look at the next hymn!"
We sang "Holy, Holy, Holy" with a special sense of wonder and gratitude. Our Lord always coordinates our lives in ways so precise the most brilliant mathematician could not create a model to express the complexity. However, most of His intricate coordination remains veiled to our eyes and understanding. When things happen as they did yesterday in ways that confirm the reality, a seam in the natural order seems to part, allowing the glories of Heaven to send a ray of light - holy light - upon everyday matters that bear significance both now and forever. As I have mentioned before in this messages, our Heavenly Father can sometimes be so obvious, we almost momentarily do not have to live by faith!
I pray daily for fellow believers, unbelievers, and myself that our Heavenly Father will orchestrate our lives in ways that bear personal witness to His synchronized presence and involvement. We do not have such experiences every day, and we certainly do not attempt to manufacture them ourselves. They likely take place more than we suspect, however, and a heart aware and expectant of the Great Coordinator's working prepares us to see "wonders without number" we might otherwise miss (Job 9:10). Of course, like yesterday, some rays of light shine with obvious brilliance and assurance of the sun in which they originate. We give thanks for such grace, and let us pray for others and ourselves that our hearts will be open to the ever present activity of the God who "worketh all things after the counsel of His own will" (Ephesians 1:11).
"I will look for Him."
Weekly Memory Verse
Pray without ceasing.
(I Thessalonians 5:17)