If the audio will not play, here is the YouTube of the original composition:
If the audio will not play, here is the YouTube of the original composition:
“And what did you learn in school this year, Little Monk?”
“Oh, LOTS of cool stuff, Father!” I responded, as we sat relaxed in the great Hall of Fire at His House. We stared into the flames, feet toasting comfortably on little footstools near the andirons, sipping mulled cider. It was a quiet evening, a “waiting” evening, a “restful” evening between the ending of one year and the beginning of the next. For the moment… for THIS moment… all felt well with the worlds.
“Good!” He smiled. “Like what? Tell Me of something.”
“Well, I learned Your Name… again.” (I sorta mumbled that last bit, because over time, it seems I get new understandings of His Name.)
“Ah,” His eyebrows raised as diplomatically He looked back towards the hearth, prompting me to continue with a slight nod. “And what word is that for you now?”
“Well I saw You at IT one night. I saw You doing IT. Jesus walked up on me as I marvelled. I asked Him what I should do… whether I should join in with You… and He said no, that I should just settle back and enjoy the beauty of IT. Leave You be.”
“And what did you see, Little Monk?”
“Well… um… I saw You…” I sort of hesitated and coughed a bit, looking down. “I saw You… well… Dancing. You know, You were dancing and singing with the Heavenly Host. The music was breathtaking. You just swirled, and reached, and leapt. And everywhere You reached, or looked, or sang, or as Your robes swirled… that, that STUFF came off and spewed out in every direction. You know what I saw! I saw you doing IT!”
“Ah, I see…” He mused. And I knew He COULD see. As I recaptured what I saw Him doing in the limited nature of my own little mind and image/symbols, He could then recapture that experience, even in His Own Unlimited mind and Realities.
“And…” He prompted, gently. “What is IT? What was I doing? And what have you learned now as My Name?”
“In those moments, You were Joy! Boundless, rapturous, passionate, profligate, Utter Joy! You danced in Joy! You danced without restraint of passion, movement, or being. To behold You was Joy. Around You was Joy. Within You was Joy! One could barely breathe for the density of it…
“And as You spun, reached, gazed, sang… from You came beams, streams, great currents of Light… and the Light was Love… but not ‘love’ like a feeling or a sentiment. But LOVE like a force! Like a nuclear explosion! Like a stream of plasma from the face of the sun! Love burst forth from you, impelled by the passion of Your Joy! And I could follow those streams with my gaze, and all that they touched became Alive! Motion, energy, relationships, stuff and matter through atoms and molecules, and cells and little beings, and people and families and babies… EVERYTHING became Real when touched by those streams!
“It was amazing, Father. It was wondrous and beautiful. It was awesome and terrifying. It was… Glorious… to watch You do IT!” my voice drifted off as I stared into the fire, reliving in memory those moments of watching Him dance.
“And what was I doing, Little Monk? What is or was ‘IT’ in your perception?”
“You were dancing and singing Your Love, Father. And everywhere Your gaze, Your streams, Your voice touched, came Alive. You were, as Jesus said, ‘Doing what You do.’ You were just fulfilling Your Name, Father.”
“Ah, so We come to the conclusion. What, Little Monk, have you learned My Name to be, in this year?”
“Father…” I looked up from the fire to adore Him for a moment, quietly sitting in that other chair, “You are the Joy Who Gives Life Through Love.”
“Ah…” He thought for a moment as He took another sip of mulled cider before turning His head to meet my gaze. He smiled as our eyes met, and said, “I like that. Not bad, Little Monk. Carry on.”
And we turned back to the fire, holding our warm cups.
This Advent morning I’ve wakened in the early predawn hours with what I can only describe as a tremendous sense of joy and gratitude.
I often rise on Sundays and pray for ministers who today will lend their voices to the Lord, that He touch hearts, minds, and souls of His beloved children. I will, in fact, have that privilege today as I serve in place of a friend who is a bit under the weather at the moment.
I have this overwhelming sense of this “Good News” I come to bring. To “lift Jesus up, that HE draw all men to Himself”. I need not draw or push them, they need not work or beg or force that to happen. Christians, with such frequency, tragedy, and futility try to “climb to the mountaintop of God”, or “purify themselves to warrant His grace”, and so on and so on. My heart breaks in the presence of such misunderstanding.
I have a friend who once lamented: “On my best days my highest thoughts of God are yet so poor as to be slanderous. He receives my thoughts of Him as a loving parent receives the rough crayon pictures drawn by their little boy.”
And that’s TRUE, Gentle Reader. I cannot gainsay that. It’s like setting a matchflame alongside the inferno of the Sun, and imagining that to be anything but pathetic. Yes, I agree.
But here’s this incredible thing… this ebullient joy I’m filled with this morning, that I almost feel as if welling up inside me…
Because GOD HIMSELF knows all that… Because He Himself yearns for our intimacy and closeness… HE has done ALL the “heavy lifting”:
All He requires of us is trust and faith. The amazing thing about our matchflame, is that He Himself sucks it into the center of His heart, and melds us there… our limited little selves, utterly united with Him, and all that that means.
All that that means, though, is vastly more than our little selves can encompass, comprehend, understand, or express. Nonetheless, we certainly CAN “experience it”. We can live through it, know it, know that it is real, and be nourished by and grown from it.
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Today many of us will go off to worship, to praise, to fellowship with God and one another. All our words, all our songs, all our expressions of love and adoration, will… assuredly… fall pitifully short of doing justice to the glory that is Him.
But watch this… “Ecce!”… “Behold!”… “Look at this!”
KNOWING that, God has done this incredible thing that it is very easy to lose sight of. WE DON’T WORSHIP of our own selves. We cannot. We cannot create “good” apart from Him. It is He Himself, within us, in His Infinite Self who is the Holy Spirit, who is responding to Him with worship in the first place. We merely “ride along on His coat tails” anyway.
So… do you want to praise, pray, worship Him “worthily” (whatever that truly means)? Then “hush”, listen and ride along with the wordless Holy Spirit as HE worships the Father this day. When you feel your heart soar or flutter at an unexpected moment… go with it… don’t look about or read the bulletin to “quit being distracted”. Should tears come unbidden or silence come to your lips during the music, don’t shake yourself, wipe your eyes, and clear your throat for fear of embarrassment before neighbors. Should the sermon prompt in you the need to affirm some incredible truth, and you feel moved to go to the front and share that affirmation in words before a witness, don’t staunch that grace for fear of what the deacons will think. You’re not there for them, you’re there for Him, and He is here for all His family.
This is a wondrous day, Gentle Reader… Beloved Brethren. He came to declare “Jubilee” and fulfill all the requirements of the Law because we cannot and could not. Go forth this day and Celebrate that… with all the joy in your heart!
Grace to thee — The Little Monk