Epiphany- Day 23
Psalms 27:1-9 TNIV
The LORD is my light and my salvation—
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
of whom shall I be afraid?
When the wicked advance against me
to devour me,
it is my enemies and my foes
who will stumble and fall.
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then I will be confident.
One thing I ask from the LORD,
this only do I seek:
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD
all the days of my life,
to gaze on the beauty of the LORD
and to seek him in his temple.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling;
he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle
and set me high upon a rock.
Then my head will be exalted
above the enemies who surround me;
at his tabernacle I will sacrifice with shouts of joy;
I will sing and make music to the LORD.
Hear my voice when I call, LORD;
be merciful to me and answer me.
My heart says of you, “Seek his face!”
Your face, LORD, I will seek.
Do not hide your face from me,
do not turn your servant away in anger;
you have been my helper.
Do not reject me or forsake me,
God my Savior.
Hebrews 12:1-3 TNIV
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
THINK ON THESE THINGS. . .
Am I gazing or glancing? Am I vigilant or distracted? Am I focused or frenetic? Am I asking for one thing from the Lord or am I fretful about many things? The way I respond to these queries will determine just about everything else in my life. On this point there is no middle ground. We are either gazing or glancing, vigilant or distracted, focused or frenetic. Epiphanies come most often to the gazers, the vigilant and the focused. Epiphanies come to those prepared and properly postured to behold them.
It seems impractical– to focus on only one thing– to gaze upon one thing– to fix our eyes on one person. However, it’s what we were made for, and the surprising outcome is this: the deeper our gaze, the more steadfast our vigilance, and the sharper our focus the more beautiful and richer and expansive will be our vision.
These days following Epiphany are all about honing our faculties of focus. We prepare for the deceptive desert of Lent where distractions will abound and where our need for eyes to see and ears to hear becomes paramount if we are to find the way of the cross. (jdw)