Dare I ask You to show Thyself? I want to, but only men who camp by the burning bush and turn aside from their pursuits will be drawn into Your glory and behold the consuming fire. Only men who extract, better: subtract themselves, and downright disappear, having left the camp behind, venture up the mountain of holiness, and vanish through the smoke, will touch the scepter. It is a fearful thing…
…and yet…lest I forget…
…there is the Accessible Man, Christ Jesus, full of grace and glory, the Son of Man (the last Adam, hooray!) and He has shown Himself to me. I leave the burning bush for a moment and am transported to a beach where a Man sits on a seashore cooking breakfast. He. Just. Sits. There. Food is sizzling and aroma is rising, and He waits for company. An earlier time, this Same Man swings in alongside a funeral procession and catches up to the casket. Another occasion, this Highly Accessible and Available Man pats his leg and a child jumps up into His lap and bounces, or plays with His fingers, or whatever. Remarkable.
Remarkable that this Man happens to be God-Who-Came-Down because we were too hard-hearted, stiff-necked, stubborn and rebellious to go up. Inconceivable that this One is the same One who had Face-to-Fire encounters with Moses while lightning flashed, thunder growled and a whole lot of people ran for cover, frightened out of their gourds.
The God who must be approached shoeless and the Lord on the shore waiting a table for a group of longshoremen are One and the Same. The Rumbling God at Sinai and the Whispering God on Zion’s Hill share the same space. The One Who cannot be looked upon, also offers His lap to be sat upon. He is Father and Mother. Fire and Cloud. Wrath and Mercy. Lion and Lamb. A Raging River and Redemption Drawn Nigh (see Isa 59:19,20).
The Great Equalizer is Jesus, and it is in Him that “mercy and truth have met together” and “righteousness and peace have kissed” and “from His fullness we have received grace upon grace” (John 1:16). Because of Jesus, Scary Mountains turn into Peaceful Pastures and “goodness and mercy follow me all the days of my life“.”
Grace upon grace.
Grace following grace.
By Christ, I gain entrance into Eternity’s Oval Office, not outside the fence on Pennsylvania Avenue snapping pictures of the White House. And, amazingly, again because of Christ, I not only get access to the most sacred places of all, but I can venture behind the massive desk and—being a son—can jump up into the lap of the Leader of the Freed world, who also happens to be my Father!
This is “grace following grace”. Such grace gets me to God, through the narrow gate, down the path and right inside the Inner Sanctum.
By entering the veil of Christ’s flesh, I now have “confidence” to stand before God, immune to the accuser’s charges against my being there, or cowering from the blinding Glory that pulsates and emblazons one end of Eternity to the other. I, indeed, have security clearance and an all-access badge that gets me inside the Throne Room where a scepter is extended to me, for I, too, am a son of the Eternal Creator God and the Only Begotten Jesus is my Big Brother.
So why do I spend so much time milling about on the South Lawn or even the Rose Garden? Why would I want a summary of Your doings in the Press Room when I can have a Private Audience with the Ruler-Who-Is-My-Father? I don’t want to hear about You…I don’t even want to talk about You like You’re not in the room; I want to look right at You, I want to sing right to You…
When I was a Prodigal, road-weary and bedraggled, You flew off Your front porch and met me with a prodigious bear-hug, so why would my expectation be any different as I make my way down the hallways to Your chambers? Will You not still meet me on the way, cheerfully and scandalously as a nobleman running in public?
If I draw nigh to You, will You not draw even more nigh to me?
Phillip said,“Lord, show us the Father and we’ll be satisfied” but could not connect You and the Father as One. Moses cried, “Show me Thy Glory!” and he, undoubtedly saw You. And he never had to ask again.
“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth…For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
(John 1:14,16-17, ESV)
“But the unique One, who is Himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.”
(John 1:18, NLT)
So I am grateful today to take off my shoes on this hallowed ground and run like the dickens in bare feet toward Grace Itself, carried on the wind by Grace, with Grace close on my heels.