More Where That Came From
...the voice of many angels, numbering myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands...(Rev. 5:11)
How little we see and understand. As we walk the earth, we see our hand in front of our face and not much more. The physical realities are somewhat clear and we have made a tremendous amount of progress in scientific exploration, but there is still so much we do not know. The spiritual realities, which I would argue are not separate from physical realities, are a world of uncharted territory.
This sounds agnostic, but it isn't. We know what we need to know, thanks to God's revelation in scripture and the Spirit's revelation in our lives. We are not children kept in the dark. No, what I mean is that there is more. There are myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands of angels and I cannot say I've seen one of them. There are the most strange and beautiful creatures designed for glorification and worship of the Lamb. Ponds of glass, a voice like peals of thunder, a rainbow of emerald around his throne.
The great banquet will be beyond our current comprehension. The presence of Jesus will be fuller than our souls have room and we will explode with delight. When he touches our face, we will melt in love.
The shadows of heaven cannot compare. Food, sex, drink, vacation, sunsets, and weddings are a good glimpse, but their pleasure stems from God himself. One day we will meet him at the fountainhead - that is, we will be in his presence. Like the prodigal son, we'll show up guilty and broke and he'll meet us with the open arms of a perfect father. Jesus earned that reception for us.
Today, however, is not that day. Today I sit at the kitchen table while the sounds of Liam and Lila playing bounce off the walls of the house as they build a pile of pillows and blankets they call a "comfy mess". Today is very happy. But there is more. There is myriads of myriads and thousands of thousands more.
The table is set, my place reserved. And while the banquet sounds heavenly, I really just want to be with the Host. To sit at his feet and accept the gift of his presence, as Mary did. To set my Martha anxieties and performance obsession down and simply be with him. I want that here and now as well, a foretaste of the feast to come.
Brennan Manning once wrote:
The love of Christ is beyond all knowledge, beyond anything we can intellectualize or imagine. It is not mild benevolence but consuming fire. Jesus is so unbearably forgiving, so infinitely patient, and so unendingly loving that he provides us with the resources we need to live lives of gracious response.
May we live a life of gracious response. May we stop our striving for salvation and accept the grace already given. And may we remember there's more where that came from.