The garden in Eden was the first temple of our Creator. It was where heaven and earth interfaced without any tension. Our first parents were sacred stewards commissioned to reproduce and expand the wonder, order and beauty of the garden to the whole creation. As Divine image bearers they were the original royal priests. Their vocation was to take God’s creation up into their arms, observe it, discern it, innovate by adding their love and labor to it and then offer what they created and cultivated back to God as an offering to Him and a blessing to the earth. The human story rehearses how we have fumbled this sacred calling again and again. Jesus Christ came to restore this identity and purpose to the heart of the renewed humans who would bond to Him in love and live within His pervasive kingdom, which He inaugurated in His first coming. This is what, among so many other things, validates our work as worship.
As we rise today, may we be profoundly aware of this new identity and vocation we carry within our hearts. We are ordained by the Holy Spirit in Christ to be royal priests. We stand in the very presence of God and pray in the Spirit to agree for His will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. We also stand in the presence of others to gracefully usher the presence, power, wisdom and life of Jesus into every interchange, discourse and task assigned to us under God’s providence.
Our Immanuel is with us continually in all the rhythms of life. Enjoy Him and share His joy in a world in which nothing is yet perfect and not everything is going well. May we be living witnesses to the unassailable and absolute goodness of our great Papa and His firstborn Son!
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” 1 Peter 2:9 ESV
Perhaps you are looking to make a deeper connection with Immanuel in your life. I want to encourage you to get the resource Joyful Journey: Listening to Immanuel. Joyful Journey will teach you how to practice God’s presence every day. Discover how you can enjoy daily guidance and friendship with God, using methods grounded in scripture, spiritual disciplines and cutting-edge neuroscience. This has become a popular go-to resource and I hope you have a chance to get a copy or share it with a friend.