What does your perfect Summer’s evening look like? Fish and chips on the beach, or drinks in a country pub, camping under the stars maybe, or an evening walk along the seafront?
For me, it’s an evening with family, chimnea lit on a cooler evening in the garden, and listening to my husband and his family playing guitar together and singing old country tunes and hymns. I just love it. Not much has changed since I was a 17year old love struck teenager at her boyfriend’s gigs…. I still love watching the same boy play!
Last night, we were settling into such a summers’ evening at my parents in law’s house when my daughter got out of bed, pleading to watch and listen to the music.
Pefectly content to just sit and spectate, as I watched her watching her dad, I recognised that look on her face, the joy and wonder at the sight before her. Looking in complete love and awe.
For this girl before her Father, to spectate was sufficient. To behold was grace enough.
So it is in the kingdom of God. To see and behold the glory of God the Father would be grace enough for us as his children. That was Moses’ cry: ‘show me your glory’, and he was blessed with the passing glory of the Lord, with a glimpse as he sheltered from a rock. A glimpse was grace enough.
The cry from the children of God to behold his glory, continued after Moses, and has been wonderfully heard and answered by our Heavenly Father with the giving of his Son.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1v14
Jesus is the revelation of God, the image of God, the revelation of his glory. We have seen God in the face of his Son Jesus Christ. We have received grace.
For my 6 year old, it was grace enough to be up late, to be with daddy, watching, adoring him, enjoying all the glory he displayed through his voice and guitar. That would be grace enough, for a Father’s child to be placed before him in that moment when she should have been in bed. That would have been grace enough but a Father’s love for his child always leads to giving in abundance. Why? Because we are made in the image of the One who, through his Son, gives his children more.
From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace John 1v16
To have seen the glory of God in the face of Jesus would have been grace enough. A child before her Father beholding him in love and adoration. That is grace enough.
And yet, our Heavenly Father is He who pours onto us through his Son, not only grace, but grace upon grace. And so, he promises us not just a passing glimpse, not merely a sight of God made man in history, but he promises us future revelation of his glory.
For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. Romans 8v18
The glory to be revealed to us suggests the role of spectator doesn’t it. God will unveil, will show, will reveal to us his glory. That is grace enough. But In the kingdom of God, there is grace upon grace, and in the kingdom of God, the spectator becomes the partaker. ‘The glory that is to be revealed to us’ is a revelation that carries with it more than an allowance to spectate and behold. The glory that is to be revealed to us is a revealing that bestows, that shares, a revelation that doesn’t work upon us as spectators, but works in and through us as vessels. Spectators becoming partakers.
Grace upon grace from the Father to his children.
So it was for my daughter, who was content to sit and spectate last night, received so much more from her Father. Soon her choice of song was asked for, and she began to sing along. A Father calling his child to come nearer, so the child is soon not just a spectator of the music, but a part of it; not just an audience to her daddy’s musical glory (my phrasing not his!) but a participant; the spectating child becomes the partaker of her Father’s work, her Father’s ‘glory’.
Every glorious spectacle, every grand unveiling, every revelation deserves an audience, and in our family summer evening get-togethers, I am always happy to play the role of spectator. In the final revelation of glory, the most glorious revelation of history, the spectators are the rest of creation who waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God.( Romans 8v19)
Creation will play the role of spectator. It will gaze in adoration and wonder at the most remarkable display of the glory of God, which is none less than the very children, the sons and daughters of God. We will be the revelation of the glory of God to the whole of creation, along with the risen Lord Jesus, the Son of God. He came as the revelation of the glory of God that we might partake of that same glory. that the glorious revelation of our fully sanctified perfected natures in Him will be the glorious revelation that creation cannot wait to behold. Just to be a spectator is grace indeed.
But to be a partaker is grace upon grace. That is the most remarkable revelation of all, that in Jesus, we will be the beautiful revelation for the rest of creation to behold on the day and the eternal days after when we will see the Lord in all his glory, face to face.
From his fullness, we have truly received grace upon grace.