Tuesday, October 27, 2015
The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is lycanthrope, “a werewolf or alien spirit in the physical form of a bloodthirsty wolf,” or, “a person affected with lycanthropy.” Hey, Halloween is right around the corner, right?
Today is Black Cat Day. I’m a fan of black cats. Heck, I’m a fan of any colored cat. But I especially like black cats. Here is our black cat, the old man Screamer. He is 17 years old!
Yesterday was pretty good, for a Monday. I guess, for a Monday, it was fantastic. Band rehearsal was fun, last night, and almost reminded me of college days. It was one of the first real rehearsals we’ve had since I’ve been going there. When I first started, there were, like, two rehearsals before the next concert, so we were pretty much just playing through the concert music. The next concert we (I should say “they” because I missed it) played, we only had about four or five rehearsals to get ready. We have three more before the November 21 concert, and last night, we only got through three pieces in two hours. But actually enjoyed that, so my “band geek” mode is still alive and kicking! 😀
We have Huddle tonight, which, fortunately, doesn’t last quite as long as band practice, and is closer to home. The only negative thing about band practice is that I don’t get home until 9:30 or later, which makes for a short night of sleep.
The World Series starts tonight. I don’t really have “a dog in this hunt,” so I don’t really care that much. I would say that I slightly favor Kansas City to win. I do believe that there is potential for a really great series.
(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)
As this chapter on seeking the face of God comes to a close, Keller tell us that John Owen’s “critique of what he considers unbiblical mysticism goes hand in hand with appreciation for those who intensely desire–as the medieval mystics did–to be swallowed up by the glory of God.” He firmly believed that we should definitely desire contemplation on God in Christ until our souls were “swallowed up in admiration and delight.” But this contemplation must be firmly grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Keller recommends that any who find delight in the works of John Owen or Jonathan Edwards read the “medieval mystics with appreciation but also plenty of caution.” There are errors or distortions to beware: “the idea that you can purge and qualify yourself for higher experiences, the strong impression that you can connect to God directly [without the mediation of Christ], and a general lack of us use of the gospel itself in prayer.”
When our “parents” sinned in the Garden of Eden, we “lost the face of God.” People like Moses, who desired to have all of his longings fulfilled in the “beatific vision,” were still prohibited by their sin. We have this barrier taken away through Jesus Christ and “we can begin to see, though only partially and by faith, the light of the glory of God in the face of Christ. When we meditate and pray the gospel and its attendant truths into our hearts with the power of the Spirit, those longings are slowly satisfied, and other things in life become gifts rather than gods, and we slowly but surely and radically change in our character and in all our relationships.”
The chapter closes with this quote from Augustine, from his Confessions:
But what do I love when I love you? Not the beauty of any body or the rhythm of time in its movement; not the radiance of light, so dear to your eyes; not the sweet melodies in the world of manifold sounds; not the perfume of flowers, ointments and spices; not manna and not honey; not the limbs so delightful to the body’s embrace; it is none of those things that I love when I love my God.
And yet when I love my God I do indeed love a light and a sound and a perfume and a food and an embrace–a light and sound and perfume and food and embrace in my inward self. There my soul is flooded with a radiance which no space can contain; there a music sounds which time never bears away; there I smell a perfume which no wind disperses; there I taste a food that no surfeit embitters; there is an embrace which no satiety severs. It is this that I love when I love my God.
Father, may I know these delights when I meditate on you and your Word through the gospel of Jesus Christ, and when I seek your face in seeking his face. Let these delights be my delight, and may I seek no other enjoyment in life as vigorously as I seek your presence, and to be swallowed up in your glory.
Come, Lord Jesus!
Grace and peace, friends.