King of mysteries, who has been, who is, before the creation, before the ages, King living forever still, fair his semblance, King without beginning, without end.
- Anonymous, Saltair na Rann (Irish, 9th or 10th century)
For God, who said, "Let light shine out of darkness," has shone in our hearts to give the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
- 2 Corinthians 4.6
That phrase, "fair his semblance," from The Psalter of the Quatrains leaps out at me every time I read it. How did the writer know that Jesus' semblance was fair? Had he seen, or did he regularly gaze upon something that most of us today have never so much as glimpsed?
And what did Paul mean by saying that God has illuminated our hearts so that we may know His glory by seeing it in the face of Jesus Christ? Are we to assume that seeing the face of Jesus, that fair semblance, is a privilege now open to us by virtue of the saving work of God in our hearts?
If so, where shall we discover the image of this semblance, and how shall we engage it? We're not free just to make it up, you know. Jesus reigning at the right hand of God as our Savior and King is not merely a projection of our own imaginations, be they ever so spiritual or well-intended.
In fact, there are a good many Scriptures which provide glimpses of this fair semblance, and which we are commanded to consider as we run the race that is set before us each day (Heb. 12.1, 2). Jesus is described as the fairest of all men, robed in light and splendor, glorious, majestic, and the Source of unspeakable joy and holy pleasure (cf. Pss. 2, 16, 45, 110, etc.). In the book of Revelation John describes His fair semblance in great and frightening detail (Rev. 1). Other Scriptures add to our sense of the majesty and beauty of Jesus enthroned by painting out more of the details of His royal court and its occupants.
Paul says that such views are to be the normal resting places of our minds, that we may, by gazing upon the fair semblance of our eternal King, be lifted above mundane temptations and trials to walk in triumphant glory and truth, lifted by the face of Jesus and the glory of God revealed there.
Is this your experience? Is it the experience of anyone you know? Are we missing something here?
Indeed, we may well be. You cannot gaze upon the glory of God in the face of Jesus without searching out all that God has to say about this in His Word, and then devoting serious and extended times of contemplation, seeking the glory emanating thence, glory that can utterly transform your life.
If you would be transformed into the image of King Jesus, then make the study and contemplation of that fair semblance your daily occupation.
Today at The Fellowship of Ailbe
Evidently, some people don't have a very high regard for the pastoral ministry. Or for marriage, either. Today's ReVision wonders how we've come to such a state?
Thank you for your prayers and gifts to our ministry. As our work continues to grow we rejoice that many of you are standing with us. Please pray that we will be daily faithful in the work we've been given to do, and that God will use our efforts to bring revival, renewal, and awakening to His Church and our world.