I would like to preach today on these words: ‘This is none other than the House of God and this is the gate of Heaven!’
A well-known expression which is often thrown around is 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone.' We as Christians can often forget the vision we have been given and yet we live in an age where we need to have it at the forefront of our minds. How difficult that can be, however, when the news we are offered daily is far from positive. We are told how people are being oppressed and discarded by fellow men and women. How divisions are deepened and with no clear way out of it all. At the same time Jesus tells us of the great things we will see. How Angels will descend and ascend upon the son of man. Somehow, it's difficult to gather the worldly reality with the heavenly hope!
Psychologists suggest that we see what we want to see. Expectations can shape perceptions. I suppose that stereotypes are a fine example of how we place projections on others and as such fail to see what really stands before us.
As children of God who know our identity as being exactly that, we are called to enjoy that identity. We are called to recognise who we are, what we are and where we are.
We are called to recognise a place where angels are constantly descending and ascending according to our needs and the will of God. None of us go through this life alone. We have each other, we have almighty God Himself made known to us in Christ Jesus and His Holy Spirit and we have guardian angels to watch over us and those for whom we care.
The prophets through the biblical texts as well as the prophets of our time had and have great vision. So great that it enables them to witness to the pain of life but point in the direction of the joy.
Martin Luther King Jr, Pope Francis and many others show great examples of a faith which facilitates the vision. The vision which we all have as Christians which enables coming Kingdom of God to grow!
The Kingdom of God. It's here amongst us, in this place.
A place where we believe in a God who can transform a rag and a rock into the triumph of the boy shepherd David. A God who will take away our mistakes and turn it into mercy. A God who will take a cup of wine and a piece of bread and turn it into the food of life.
When we realise that and when that vision of the true order burns in our hearts, we too can shout out loud and shout out proud with Jacob that This place is certainly none other than the House of God and this is the gate of Heaven!
It is with these expectations that our perception of the reality of God will shift so that despite the terror that often surrounds us, we are assured that it doesn’t have the final word and so with the songwriter we too can sing, despite it all, I feel like going on, even in the trials of life, I feel like going on.