Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, be my guide and strength today. You who evaded the wiles of the Pharisees, who turned back the temptations of Satan himself, be my wisdom in every question and my shield against sin. You who bore the cross for me, be my strength in every challenge and my fortitude in every sacrifice. You who came from Bethlehem to Golgotha, be my love for a lost and dying world. You who rose and reign forever, be my King and my glory today—Amen.
“But the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob, the God of the Christians is a God of love and consolation: he is a God who fills the soul and heart of those whom he possesses: he is a God who makes them inwardly aware of their wretchedness and his infinite mercy: who unites himself with them in the depths of their soul: who fills it with humility, joy, confidence and love: who makes them incapable of having any other end but him.” (Blaise Pascal, Pensees, Penguin Classics Edition, p.169)
So often people do not hear or grasp the depths of salvation and the character of God. We neglect the wonder of the gospel, the great treasure that in Christ God draws us to Himself, as Pascal says, “unites himself with them in the depths of their soul”. Christianity is a whole-life thing; it is a re-centering of the whole life around God. This is not some tragic loss–the world only offers emptiness and death anyway. This is a wonder of joyful transformation, that we may be made “incapable of having any other end but him.” We do not grasp salvation unless we grasp this glory of redemption, that in salvation God makes Himself our all.
From the rising of the sun, look on me with love, Lord of all. From my rising in the morning, guide my steps in the way of life, the way that pleases you. Let Christmas be in my heart and Easter on my mind. I walk in the world to which you came, Son of the Most High. I am of the blood for which you came, and in the rising of the Son I have received my own resurrection. Let me live awake and arisen, for you, today.
Holy Spirit, let me rest tonight in your peace. By your power the Son came to us; by your power, unite me more fully to Him. Shelter me from all the worries of the day, the fears of the future and the failures of the past. Fill me instead with love for my God and Savior, hope for the future, and satisfaction in nearness to my King—Amen.
“Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life” (1 Jn. 5:12, NIV). Union with Christ is the great gift of the gospel. Knowing Christ is the key to meaning, hope, and eternal life.
Reformation 21 has been gracious enough to publish another piece of mine, this one on the centrality of union with Christ. Head on over and take a look!