Words from the Heart for Wednesday August 2nd, 2017
Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west—praise the name of the Lord.
Psalm 113:2-3 (NLT)
Blessed Be the Name of the Lord
Have you ever thought about the time zones around the world? On a Sunday, worship begins in what might seem like far-away places. Then, nation after nation begins to lift up the praises of the Lord. This happens all around the globe. By the end of the day, His praises have been heard from “east to west.” However, let’s not leave that just for one day a week! Take your turn in praising Him.
This past Canada Day, which celebrated Canada’s 150th birthday, the Hill Times, which is a twice weekly newspaper published on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, asked a number of MPs and Senators what the greatest blessing of being Canadian is. Carolyn Stewart Olsen, a senator from New Brunswick said, ““Being Canadian is a commitment to freedom, democracy and the rule of law. We New Brunswickers are proud of our part in making this dream, the Canadian dream, a reality in 1867. Canada 150 is an opportunity for us to reflect on our heritage and our diverse society as we move forward to make Canada greater than ever.” Hamilton area MP Filomena Tassi said, “I am so proud to call myself Canadian. We are a country that embraces diversity, celebrates culture, and provides opportunity to all.”
One of the great tensions of the Christian faith is that God is both holy, separate, set apart and uniquely the God who draws close to us through Jesus Christ. When He revealed Himself to Moses, the patriarch had to take off his sandals as a sign of humility in the presence of God and when he left God’s presence he had to cover his face because it was aglow from the holiness of God. At the same time, Jesus would be known as Immanuel, God with us. Imagine, the holy God of the universe has done everything necessary to draw close to men and women across the globe. The Psalmist puts it this way in Psalm 113:2-3: “Blessed be the name of the Lord now and forever. Everywhere—from east to west—praise the name of the Lord.” In this case, the word blessed means holy, set apart. You would think this would mean that men and women would stand in fear of Him, and flee from His presence. Instead, God lovingly draws us to Himself, and blesses us, to the extent that we praise His name. And not just us. People from across the globe. Our God is holy. He is set apart. There is no one like Him. But He is also a loving God who has come after us by sending His own Son, Immanuel, Jesus, so that we might have a personal, transformational and intimate relationship with Him.
These have been words from the heart.