“Lord the Light or Your Love is shining,
In the midst of the darkness shining,
Jesus light of the world shine upon us,
Set us free by the truth You now bring us,
Shine on me. Shine on me….”
She danced without inhibitions. Eyes closed and arms out wide, she floated around the room where, every Sunday morning before Sunday School, the kids sing worship songs together. This three year-old danced freely to Shine Jesus Shine.
Maybe it wasn’t such a strange sight to behold on Sunday morning in a place where children were singing and music was being played to the Lord.
Yet maybe it was.
The little girl was not just any little girl. She was a little girl who wouldn’t have been there except by God’s intervention in her life through His people. She is not the daughter of anyone in our church. She would have no reason to be there, naturally. I think it’s pretty safe to say that, since she is so young, she wouldn’t have been attending church that Sunday morning if it weren’t for the help of her foster family. That family is of no blood relation, yet they have taken her in as a part of their family. This work is not easy, yet they love her well. Through this relationship she has come to know what it means to be a part of a household of God and the household of God.
I’m not sure if, a year ago, when she first came, that she would’ve danced around a room like that. I wondered what was going on in her heart. Was she sensing the joy of the Lord? The joy of community? I didn’t ask. I just enjoyed watching this little girl, who once often looked sad, now enjoy worship.
This lead me to think upon my own sense of joy in the Lord.
Lately, I must admit, I have felt a bit lacking. My usual routines were disrupted for a number of weeks after a computer blow-up. All of my devotional and writing stuff…gone. I had to reorganize and do things differently. When I got the computer back, I had to reorganize again. I haven’t been writing or reading to the extent that I normally do.
On a positive note, I realized that all I really need is the bible, paper and a pen.
On a negative note, I allowed all of the disruption and reorganization to steal some of my joy.
Do I daily recognize where I once was and the privilege of being in God’s household and all of the other glorious truths of being in Christ?
A few weeks of allowing myself to be defined by a lack of organization instead of who I am in Christ can feel like a year.
So I begin to begin again.
Surely, unless by the Lord’s mercy and intervention in my life, I wouldn’t know Him.
Yet I do.
A recent study of Ephesians 2, reminds me that, before I was brought into the community of believers, my life was defined by this:
Dead in my sins.
Following the course of this world and Satan.
A child of wrath.
Separated from Christ.
Alienated from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise.
Without hope and without God in the world.
Being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
Jesus Himself is our peace.
Through Christ, we have access in one Spirit to the Father.
We are no longer strangers and aliens, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord.
In Him we are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.
He is a God who gives life to those who have no life and mercy to those who do not deserve mercy.
He has given us a place in His Kingdom as fellow citizens, He has given us a place in His household…a seat at His table, and He has made us HIS home…His temple.
There is so much to dance about here, isn’t there?
By God’s mercy and intervention, are you rejoicing today in being a citizen with the saints, part of the household of God, growing into a holy temple in the Lord?
“Lord I come to Your awesome presence,
From the shadows into Your radiance,
By the blood I may enter Your brightness,
Search me, try me, consume all my darkness,
Shine on me. Shine on me…”
This painting, Dancer, by Steve Henderson was taken from SteveHendersonFineArt.com. The painting at the top, Child Dancing, is by Anne Danahy. Lyrics to Shine Jesus Shine by Cliff Richard.
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