As I work to edit and reposition my blog for publishing, I found this entry from the past worth reposting:
“This weekend it was my privilege to join one of my partners at his son’s wedding, during which I found myself pondering the Christian wedding ceremony. It was a beautiful event, where two individuals gathered to consummate the spiritual vows that will sustain them throughout life, both physically and emotionally during their new journey as one.
I always think of Jesus putting his stamp of approval on weddings by performing His first miracle at just such a celebration. I assume it was His first, as his response to His mother was that it was not yet His time? Then the writer John sets out to capture all the layers of truth that seem to always surround Christ’s deliberate acts. For instance, the source of this wine, water (Spirit); then the containers for this water, clay jars (humanity); even the type of water, which I am told was there for the purpose of washing tired dirty feet? Possibly, a humorous statement against the religious in the crowd, as it was not even Holy water?
Could you imagine God showing up at your party, let alone providing a wine that topped even the best these revelers had ever tasted? Did He have His guard down or does He actually love to celebrate life?
He is life, even bigger than life, at least as we know it on this Earth. Where am I going this time? In an earlier post, I mentioned that Copernicus was once challenged by the church of his day around their belief that the universe was centered on mankind. I think we are there again.
Whether or not Copernicus’ thoughts were even on the church when he declared the Sun to be the center of the universe, he was ironically declaring the Glory of God, for the Son is the Center. Just as this primitive scientist powerfully demonstrated that all planets revolve around the Sun, so the scripture declares the Son central in repositioning God’s rightful place among the galaxies…in fact worlds without end!
“But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For he “has put everything under his feet.” Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all.” I Cor. 15:20-28 (NIV)
As the Psalmist, in Ps. 8:9, declared long before the Anointed One’s arrival, something far beyond mankind alone is playing out in this narrative of scriptures, mentioned also in Isaiah 14, as well as in Ezekiel 28. We find the story of a fallen angel being cast from heaven, present in Eden and perfect in his ways until iniquity was found in him. Ironically, though bent on overthrowing the Kingdom of God, this being is placed in the very spot on this globe that God would also place two much weaker vessels, “created subject to vanity in hope” that they would choose Love (God) over evil. God Himself would risk His own deity, even confining himself to our flesh as well, in order to demonstrate the power of love over unrighteousness.
He would, through love alone, redeem His creatures, over power these evil ones, and re-establish His Eden and His Kingdom. He would deliver the off spring of Earth’s first Adam through the flesh of Earth’s second Adam.
This second Adam, Jesus, born of God would employ the violence used against Him, to bring the Kingdom of His Father to this Earth, vanquishing all evil and returning this fallen empire to even lesser creatures than those who once violated righteousness eons ago. In fact, as that day of victory approached, Peter, James and John witnessed the Victor pass through the thin veil that guards our eye, to a place where others dwell once this human life is over. Moses and Elijah were there, as they peeked inside paradise on the Mount of Transfiguration in Mark 9:2-5.
Yes, the Kingdom of God is all around us, and something of epic proportion has been occurring around the Son, long before we were created, and will continue long after our individual demise. The joy is that we are now eternally a part of this epic, and this “Son of Man-Son of God”, prophesied of for millennia, will soon victoriously bring all things back to His Father, ushering in a New Age. In fact a New Heaven and a New Earth are in the forecast once the present has “waxed old like a garment” (Isa. 51:6).
Oil in the Gulf? Wall Street in the tank? Justice down the tubes? God is not mocked, either by humanity, or fallen beings far more glorious. God is sovereign, even when we have lost, sold or soiled our own powers! Though the Earth is reeling from our own sinful neglect, greed and arrogance, He has not forgotten us, for we are His Bride, flesh of His flesh and bone of His bone! No, this epic does not revolve around us but around the Son, we are just supporting actors in a much greater myth.
Once this vengeful challenge from the principalities and powers of darkness is fully conquered, this Kingdom will be offered back to the Father, as Paul unpacks for us in the above verses from I Corinthians 15.
I hear in my spirit the words of Handel’s Messiah: “The Kingdom of the World has become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ and He shall reign forever and ever! Hallelujah, Hallelujah…. ”’