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Posts Tagged ‘Psalm 26:3-6, The Passion Translation, The Psalms, Poetry on Fire, Dr Brian Simmons, BroadStreet, God’s face, seeing God face to face, meeting someone at the airport, Zain, Maxine, child care centre’

Jo 12I wonder if you are like me and enjoy watching people at airports, as they welcome home relatives or friends. Sometimes these reunions can be quieter, more restrained affairs. And sometimes, they can be big and noisy, with excited family members yelling and waving ‘Welcome Home’ balloons. But, whether loud or quiet, it is the joy that lights up the faces of both those arriving and those greeting them that I love to see. And I feel sad when someone walks out that airport door and there is no one present who shows any delight in their arrival.

One afternoon each week, we pick up our two young grandchildren from their day care centre. Currently, when Zain sees me arrive, he runs towards me, with a wonderful, beaming smile that lights up his face, and gives me a huge hug around my legs.

‘Hello, Nanna!’ he yells, his pleasure obvious to all.

But Maxine’s greeting is somewhat different—and somewhat more subdued. When she first catches sight of me, for a brief moment, her face often registers almost shocked recognition. Then a long, blank stare follows, until finally she turns away, as if she is too interested in something she is playing with. Yet she knows I’m there—and would be more than a little annoyed if I did not pick her up and cuddle her! She might be determined to ignore me, yet, in her own way, she is delighted I am there.

These different forms of welcome came to mind recently while reading Psalm 24 in The Passion Translation, a very readable, new version that attempts to convey God’s passion for people and touch our hearts in a deep, life-changing way. In verses 3-6, I read:

Who, then, ascends into the presence of the Lord? And who has the privilege of entering into God’s Holy Place? Those whose hearts are true and sealed by the truth, those who never deceive, whose words are sure. They will receive the Lord’s blessing and righteousness given by the Savior-God. They will stand before God. For they seek the pleasure of God’s face, the God of Jacob.

Have you ever thought about the whole concept of seeking God’s face? If you have, I wonder what expression you believe it might hold. Perhaps you envisage a rather unwelcoming, disapproving one that lets you know straight away how far you have fallen short in your life. Perhaps you even envisage one that is quite distant and uninterested, because you are too insignificant to bother about.

Or perhaps you might have a far different picture in mind. Perhaps you already have a foretaste of this warm welcome here and now, whenever you choose to be with God. Perhaps you, like me, envisage God’s face to be one that radiates not only splendour and holiness, but also great delight and always such a warm, loving welcome. Perhaps you, like me, recognise that acceptance there on God’s face because of Jesus, our Saviour, that deep understanding of our heart’s desire to live with purity and integrity and that constant, compassionate offer of forgiveness to each one of us.

What a welcome we can receive each day in God’s presence! Can you imagine what it will be like then when we meet God face to face at last?

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