Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Where Do You Meet With God?

In Psalm 150:1 -- my passage for my morning Bible study -- the Psalmist says we meet God in two places  -- in his sanctuary, and in his highest heavens. For me, this looks something like this.

My "sanctuary" is Bojangles. This is where my spirit reaches out to my Creator on a daily basis. This is where I feed on the word of God, a place where Jesus Christ brings God to me without dwarfing him. It is where the Master of the universe says, "I will meet you there. I will join you."

But the Psalmist amplifies his explanation by widening the sanctuary to include the mighty heavens. And this is the second place where I meet God. The creation itself  -- all of it, be it nature, the arts, music, a hike -- reveals the power and glory of God. You look at it all and say, "Praise the Lord!" Music is especially a place where I find God. Nothing keeps me centered on him more than the beauty of a musical composition performed with grace and beauty. For behind it all is the mind of the Creator.

After Becky died I was blessed to attend a concert of Mussorgsky's magnificent Pictures at an Exhibition. During the final movement -- the "Great Gate of Kiev" -- it was as though I could see Becky exultantly entering heaven through gates of splendor. When the performance concluded, we stood to our feet in loud applause. Tears flowed freely on the faces of more than one. You see, applause is simply joy turned backwards toward God, the source of all joy. Did we praise the conductor and the orchestra? Enthusiastically. Did we feel gratitude toward the composer Mussorgsky? We did. He absolutely deserved it. But we also gave praise and glory to the God who gave us Mussorgsky and musical instruments and concert halls and brains that can process and enjoy great music. He is the ultimate source of it all. He fills us with himself, and then he fills us with light and warmth and love and happiness. We praise him, says the Psalmist, by turning to him at every moment of every day, and acknowledging his love for us with our words, actions, thoughts, and prayers. 


Here is the piece that brought me to tears. The "Great Gate of Kiev" begins at 29:26.