The Face of God

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us.
Psalm 67:1
The Hebrew Bible often paints word pictures of God's attributes using symbolism. One the most beautiful of these is the divine countenance, or the face of God. This symbol speaks to us of both God's glory and God's favor in a way that nothing else can. Just as we cannot see God's face and live, so we cannot imagine the heights of God's glory or comprehend the depths of God's grace.
But in the fulness of time, God sent us One who showed us the divine countenance. And it was our face... not the face we thought we wanted to see in the mirror—the face of the powerful or the beautiful—but the face of the least among us. It was in this One who was despised and rejected that we were invited to see the fulness of God.
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace [John 1:16]:
  • The grace of an humble birth, making every family part of God's family
  • The grace of his teaching, showing us what love of God and neighbor really means
  • The grace of his healing, bringing wholeness to outsiders as well as insiders
  • The grace of his death, granting forgiveness to those who were responsible for his pain
  • The grace of his resurrection, giving eternal life to all who believe
Though we still cannot fully comprehend the heights of God's glory or the depths of God's grace, in Christ, we know that when we behold the face of our neighbors—especially the weak and the outcast and the humble—we are seeing the very image of the One sent by God to show us love.
After meditating on the scriptures, pray these hymn lyrics:
Great God, in Christ you call our name
and then receive us as your own,
not through some merit, right, or claim,
but by your gracious love alone.
We strain to glimpse your mercy seat
and find you kneeling at our feet.
 Brian Wren
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.

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