Saturday, March 17, 2012

shout or kneel

I pray today with a loud voice for love is great; and I pray today on my knees for truth is simple.

Jesus’ last prayer on the cross was spoken with a loud voice: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Prayer needn’t always be loud, but nor should it always be quiet; there is a time for everything. Great acts of love correspond to great prayers and the greatest act of love corresponds to the greatest prayer. In such moments, loud voices seem fitting; even nature prays at varied levels.

Understood rightly, God’s love has the power to knock you flat on your back, or drive you to your knees. Either way, it’s possible to find your voice by having your breath taken away.

This is just my imagination running wild, but I imagine that in heaven we’ll shout first and kneel later. The noise made by spectators at a sporting event witnessing the home team score the winning point within the closing 8 seconds of a championship game does not compare to the noise that shall fill heaven when the great throng is gathered before the throne shouting their lungs out for joy. Faces will be red with exuberance. When our voices have become hoarse, we will all stop and look at each other full-faced. Then we’ll know: it’s time to kneel and shut up. Maybe some will fall to their knees even before the shouting stops. Maybe they’ll be unable to stand. They will not kneel for propriety’s sake; they will kneel because their heart is too full to keep standing. They will kneel not because truth is thin and clear like water, but because it is thick and opaque, like blood: simple, living and life itself.

Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.” —Revelation 19:6-8

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