Today’s Bible readings can be found here: Psalm 12:1-8 and 1 John 4:1-12.
1 John 4:12 No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us. (NIV)
One of my favorite hymns was written by a Scottish minister, Walter Chalmers Smith. The song is called “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.” It’s one of a handful of traditional hymns that I can recite perfectly so whenever we sing it in church, I close my eyes and meditate on the beautiful lyrics.
To me, the words describe the absolute majesty of God and how His glorious shekinah veils Him from our eyes. God is invisible not because He wants to hide from us, but because His glory is so bright that it does not register on our vision’s wavelength. God’s presence is always with us because we exist in His reality, not our own. He sees us perfectly, but we can only get a glimpse of God in how we love one another, according to the Apostle John. This means that if we truly want to see God in our lives, we need to become vessels of His love and grace.
Sadly, we live in a world which is broken by disunity and dimmed by fear. We stumble in the dark because of our selfish and antagonistic ways. Pride overshadows our society and greed blots out our generosity. We are in danger of going down a blind alley created out of arrogance and vanity, bigotry and hatred. In other words, we are potentially doomed to become lost because our sins will eventually engulf us, casting us on a path to perdition and destruction.
The only way to overcome this shadowing of our world is through the light of God’s love. There is no other substantive way or effective presence to remedy our self-inflicted plight other than our love for one another and the abundant sharing of God’s grace. As Christians, we have the capacity to change the entire world into a better planet for people everywhere, but only if we are willing to let others see God actively, graciously, and lovingly at work in our hearts and lives. For only then will the glory (shekinah) of the Lord be seen; only then will the immortal, invisible God appear in our world.
Point to ponder: Where can I let God’s love through me lighten my community today?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You once told Your followers that they were the light of the world. Help us in this generation to become those same vessels of light and grace that our planet desperately needs. May God’s loving presence become evident in all that we say and do. In Your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s psalm drawings based on Psalm 24 v 1. If you would like to view a larger version, please click this link: click here.
If you would like to watch and listen to a wonderful version of the hymn “Immortal, Invisible,” please click this link: HYMN