Wednesday, May 30, 2007

An Act of Divine Love

Incense still hangs in the air as candle flames flicker in a moment of profound reverence as the priest approaches the altar offering prayers while holding the Body and Blood of Christ. The worship service, known as the Divine Liturgy in the Orthodox Church, has been leading up to this eternal act of love – Christ being offered on the altar, and we, standing in the 21st century, are connected to this continuing act of God’s great love and forgiveness for all. We can do nothing but stand in awe. We can offer nothing except that which God has given us through Christ, so we offer up the Lord’s Prayer. Much has been said about this beautiful prayer, and I don’t believe I can add anything to the centuries of great quotes regarding it, but praying it in this context, in the context of intensely focused worship, I am changed. I identify deeply with what is happening at the altar. I can see clearly the place Christ has in this world and the next. I see heaven and earth meet and kiss at this table of divine love as the life-blood of the eternal God who created all things shares His life with me. The Lord’s prayer goes up in unison in anticipation of connecting to Christ’s Body and identifying God as our Father as Jesus also did. He is in heaven, and we on earth as we pray to have His will permeate this world as it does His world. The Bread of Life is set before us as we pray for our daily bread, and this Bread is offered on the altar as a slain Lamb, the crucified body of God Himself offered for our forgiveness. So too we pray that we forgive others in this divine light of dramatic revelation. As Christ destroyed the power of the evil one through His shed blood, we ask for deliverance from our temptations as well knowing He has already defeated our enemy. This is His kingdom, this is His glory and this is His power stunningly displayed and received in faith, at His altar, where heaven and earth meet and kiss in an act of divine love.

2 comments:

MIRABAI said...

what an interesting post. divine love is so universal. you may find this article about divine love interesting also.

Nicodemus said...

Mirabai - I read your link. You are correct regarding the universality of the Love of God! How often it is missed when we are directly confronted with it. I am so grateful to God that His Love finds its ultimate expression through His only Begotten Son - it is though Him that we see in a physical and tangible way God in all His fullness.