Tuesday, 25 November 2014

The glory of God

God is glorious but he lives in you, spiritual life director Gord Park told students at the second chapel of Smithville Christian High School's spiritual emphasis week.

Park began Tuesday's chapel message by reading an account of Isaiah's vision of God, taken from Isaiah 6:1-8.

1"In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;
    the whole earth is full of his glory.”
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
“Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.”
Then one of the seraphim flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said, “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.”
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?”
And I said, “Here am I. Send me!”

Park said Isaiah's vision comes at a time in the history of the people of Israel when their king has just died and the nation is in disarray. But the vision begins with the certainty that God is still on the throne, that the real king is still the king.

The name of the Lord, "Adonai," which is translated as LORD, indicates that Isaiah saw God as the "suffering servant," Park said. "God has always been enthroned and when he chooses to reveal himself, it is as Jesus."

The "train of his robe (that) filled the temple" indicates the majesty and glory of God, just as the 
train of a wedding gown brings honour to a bride, or the length of the tassles on a prayer shawl signifies righteousness, Park said, using a prayer shawl to demonstrate.

"You are the temple of the Lord," Park told students, "and if God is in you, his glory fills you.
The symbolism of the train of God's robe filling the temple "is hugely important. The glory of God is so overwhelming that the train of his robe fills the temple. When you are in the presence of God, there is nothing else.

"And if you allow God to sit enthroned in your life, there will be nothing in life that he will not be victorious over, " Park said, "even death." Bad stuff may still happen, but as Paul writes in his letter to the Romans, nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah's vision emphasizes the holiness of God, but the hot coal taken from the altar fire — where the sacrificial blood of atonement is poured — indicates that Isaiah is cleansed from his sin and is now also holy.

And so are we, Park said, if we accept the forgiveness God offers.

"The challenge for each of us today is to recognize that you are a temple of God, and you can be the one standing at the altar in communion with him, thanking him and praising him," he said.

And at the end of the vision, God asks for a volunteer, and Isaiah steps up.

"Who has God called you to be?" Park asked the students. "What is God calling you to do?"

"We know who sits enthroned in heaven, but who sits enthroned in your life?" he asked. "You are the temple of the Lord but you have a choice to make: who sits enthroned in your life?"  

A student praise team led in worship with "Mountaintop," "Dare you to move," "Oceans" and "Great I Am/Our God is Greater."

Chapel is every morning at 9 a.m. and everyone is invited.

Here's the praise team with "Great I Am/Our God is Greater."

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