ISAIAH 61:1-4

ISAIAH 61:1-4

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me and has anointed me to
Preach the good news to the poor. .
Bind up the brokenhearted,
Proclaim freedom for the captives,
Proclaim release from darkness for the prisoners,
Comfort all who mourn
Provide for those who grieve in Zion to bestow on them
The oil of gladness for mourning
And a garment of praise for a spirit of heaviness

Saturday, July 8, 2006

God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. - Psalm 53:2

(for the full panoramic picture, click below)

PARIS BY NIGHT is a sight to stun the senses. It is absolutely intoxicating to breath the night air, to take in the marvelous vistas from L'Arc de Triomphe to L'Tour Eiffel, from the Champs Ellysee to La Basilique de Sacre Coeur de Montmartre.

The thing that struck me about this marvelous parorama is that in these building along the streets, people live in the shadow of greatness, in the shadow of art and beauty, in the shadow of stunning triumphs of architecture and human creativity. I can clearly see the living room of an apartment, a lovely apartment. But I also know that the inhabitants don't exclaim daily about the beauty of the view, the marvels of Paris architecture. No, they talk about the high price of housing, the cost of utilities, the difficulties of commuting. Maybe they sometimes converse about the dangers of the trains, the bombs in Spain, London and India. They may decry or endorse the politics of the day. But the greatness around them dissolves into daily existence.

I was a tourist in Paris. For me, the beauties, the triumphs of creativity, the art everywhere left me awestruck, open-mouthed almost, in wonder. Especially Paris at night. There's absolutely nothing like it. I so remember breathing a prayer thanking God for the creativity of man, the beauty He has allowed us to build. But they live with it every day.

And then I think, what are the beauties around me? What are the wonders of his hand? What wonders of the universe or creation of His creation am I missing? What are the daily blessings that I overlook as I worry about the minutiae of the day?

How much of my Pentecostal heritage do I simply take for granted. We become so accustomed to the manifest presence of God who graces our services, who is with us when two or three gather together. Do I understand? Do I give time to the important amidst the frenetic race to attend to the urgent?

God looks down from heaven on the sons of men to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God. - Psalm 53:2

Give me understanding, Oh God. Help me remember to seek you faithfully, continuously.


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