Seek His Face
A while ago Matt and I developed a draft ‘mission statement’ for this venture: "Vine & Branches exists to help Christians rediscover our tradition, reengage our spiritual disciplines, and ultimately renew our hearts to God, because we believe only those things can help churches, individuals, and families rise to seek God's face again."
I’m going to use my blog posts the next few Mondays to explore what we mean by this provisional statement. Today: seek God’s face again.
There’s something about sight that places it above the other senses. I'm not just saying that because I married a Missourian who always replies, "Show me!" to the playfully off-the-wall claims I occasionally make for humor and sport. My wife isn't the only one who often needs to see in order to believe. I might hear your voice a few booths over at a restaurant, but I won't be totally sure that it's you until I see you. I can smell a rose, but I might just as easily think I'm smelling a perfume as the actual flower until I see the rose.
I'm struggling to find equally benevolent examples for touch and taste, but that's probably just because I generally resist sticking my hands where I can't see, and you'd better believe I'm not sticking something in my mouth unless I at least get some visual impression that it is edible and something that I want to eat.
Most people who aren't blind are highly visual. We experience the world largely through our eyes, and the things that we believe are most often based on things that we have seen.
The goal of Vine & Branches isn't just to help people reconnect to tradition and spiritual discipline and renew their hearts to God. We also want to help people seek God's face; this is a basically visual pursuit. For instance:
- Jesus said that the pure in heart are blessed, because they will see God.
- Psalm 11:7 promises that the upright will see God’s face.
- In Exodus 33 a nervous Moses begs to see God’s glory.
Yes, of course, I know that "we live by faith, not by sight" (2Cor. 5:7). On this side of your death and/or Jesus' return this visual aspect functions more like a metaphor. But in the end, when all is said and done, Christians believe that we will in some way or another really see God.
What will that be like?
We have no way of answering that question, but we believe that it will be absolutely beautiful and perfectly good.
For now we can't see God's face. But we can seek it; we can live our lives toward this moment when faith becomes sight. We can steer our hearts and our habits toward this Being who is the most worthy object of our love and praise and gratitude and worship.
What do you do to seek God's face seven days a week?