Daily Office Meditation: 6th Week of Easter – Thursday
3) When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, (4) What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him? (9) O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!
Psalm 8:3-4; 9
(28) Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD. So when I saw it, I fell on my face, and I heard a voice of One speaking.
(10) For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings. (11) For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren, (12) saying: “I will declare Your name to My brethren; In the midst of the assembly I will sing praise to You.”
(17) Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. (18) For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.
Hebrews 2:10-12; 17-18
(18) “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. (19) “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, (20) “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The passages today illustrate one of the reasons I love the Daily Office of Prayer. We see in reading the Psalms, Old Testament, New Testament and Gospel lessons the overarching design and purpose of history. In particular, the Hebrews passage today gives us insight into the role that Jesus fulfilled.
In the Psalms, we see the divine order, God in all His glory is still mindful of mankind. All of God’s purposes revolve around mankind and when we encounter the glory of God, this reality shocks us. The God who made the universe is mindful of humanity, even mindful of you yourself.
God purposed from the beginning that we should be raised up to rule and reign over the cosmos with Him. He designed that we should be a royal priesthood, offering up sacramental worship to Him as we enjoyed and cultivated His creation. Instead, we abdicated our thrones in rebellion and God has been pursuing us ever since. The psalmist is rightly awed by the notion that the God of all that exists is caring of us. Carl Sagan’s point that is often brought up about the insignificance of our planet (and us on it) in comparison to the vastness of the universe is inverted in God’s economy. Out of all that exists, God has preordained that man should be the heirs of eternity with His Son, Jesus Christ.
In Ezekiel, the prophet receives a vision that illustrates the magnitude and majesty of God. He sees the famous four living creatures and the throne of sapphire, but he also sees the promise. God has revealed Himself in the beauty and wonder that we find in the awe-inspiring expanse of galaxies and the exquisite beauty of a dahlia. We do not need visions of heaven to see the glory of God. In the midst of that glory, Ezekiel sees the “son of Man” (whom we now know is Jesus) who is like a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day. This is the promise of God. Originally, God establishes the rainbow after the flood subsides and Noah disembarks the Ark. He says it is evidence of His promise never to flood the earth again and as Ezekiel sees it in the throne room around the son of Man, we see God’s alternative to the flood. Jesus takes the devastation of the flood into Himself to rescue us sinners on the cross.
In fulfilling the visions of the Old Testament, the writer of Hebrews shows that Jesus had to come as a man, be made perfect in suffering, and die to destroy death. This identifying of God with man elevates man to the divine status always purposed for him. Pope John Paul II wrote, “Jesus is the human face of God and the divine face of man.” God did not hoard His glory or reject us as we rejected Him. Instead, He sent His son to identify with us in our suffering and temptation, pay the price for our sin by taking our place on the cross, and then rise to be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords that we might be fellow heirs with Him.
Jesus, Himself, shares His authority with the disciples in the Matthew passage and puts in motion the final chapter in the redemption of the world. God’s plan includes us. We are to go into the world and redeem it with the authority of Jesus. This divine plan reaches concrete practicality as Jesus tells us to make disciples of Him, a continuation of His mission on earth. Like Him, we are to bring love, acceptance, forgiveness, and healing to the poor, the sinners, the broken in our midst.
Jesus also said that many desired to see the fulfillment of the promises of God, and now we can see it every day. God’s promise to redeem the world, to bring heaven to earth, to arrive at a day where every tear shall be wiped from every eye and all shall see the glory of God. We get to do the tear wiping, the redeeming, and the healing with Him until that day. We go in His authority and the gates of hell shall not prevail against us.
P.S. His purpose is clear in Scriptures that we should do this work as a part of the Church. That means we need to plug into a local church and be apart of Christ’ body on earth… there are no lone wolves in the kingdom. Also, it’s hard to share the kingdom if you haven’t experienced it in your life. If you need healing, restoration, invigoration, Jesus has bought it for you, pray to Him. If you’ve never given your life to Jesus, then now is the time. Jesus has been given all authority on earth, He is able to help you in ANY situation and He longs for a relationship with you. Pray that He will encounter you right now and bring healing into your life. Confess that you are a sinner and ask for His forgiveness. Declare your belief in Jesus Christ as your Savior and Lord. And go to a church and talk to a pastor, they’d love to meet you and pray for you.