Thursday, June 21, 2018

God Has Gone Up



God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the king of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm.
—Psalm 47:5-7

Christians think of the 47th Psalm—most specifically Psalm 47:5—as referring to the Ascension of Christ. Calvin certainly interpreted it this way as well:
"When this ceremony was performed in old time, it was just as if a king, making his entrance among his subjects, presented himself to them in magnificent attire and great splendor, by which he gained their admiration and reverence. At the same time, the sacred writer, under that shadowy ceremony, doubtless intended to lead us to consider another kind of going up more triumphant—that of Christ when he ascended up far above all heavens [Eph 4:10], and obtained the empire of the whole world, and armed with his celestial power, subdued all pride and loftiness."

In practice, the "going up" of God probably involved the carrying of the ark of the covenant to its proper place in the tabernacle—the ark being the sign of God's presence in Israel's midst. And when I think about that, what is the sign of God's presence in me, and in the midst those I worship with? When I witness to those signs—healing of sickness, pardon for sin, love when I am a jerk, courage when I am a coward, and hope when all hope has been lost—whether in the midst of the congregation or in my daily life, then I am carrying a modern-day ark to its proper place, and in me, God is lifted up.

Help me to discover the signs of your presence in my life, O God, and in all the ways that I carry your presence about with me, may your Name be lifted up, your values be honored, and your justice be advanced in a world that needs to know you; in Jesus' Name. Amen.