Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Ezekiel and The Call and the Presence

I'm struck how the Presence of God permeated Ezekiel's call to ministry. Visions of the Divine Presence bathe the early chapters of the book bearing Ezekiel's name. One result was that Ezekiel was called to act out, to portray, the Word of God to Israel, Judah, and the nations. To see Ezekiel was to see the Word of God. 

I wonder how readily Ezekiel would have responded to God's directions for "acting out" His Word had Ezekiel not experienced the Presence? A vision of the heavens prepared and empowered Ezekiel for ministry on earth. Perhaps this is what a taste of books such as Ezekiel, Zechariah, Daniel and Revelation can produce in us if we will be Christocentric in our approach to them? The book of Revelation, and all of the Law and the Prophets and the Writings that inform Revelation, is about Jesus Christ before it is about anything else, why do we seem to miss that so often?

On the Day of Pentecost in Acts Chapter Two the Presence of God descends from the heavens to fill His Temple, and His living Temple begins acting out the Word of God on earth - we like to use the term "incarnational" - the Presence and the Word are incarnated in God's Living Temple. The Temple is completed, it's growth and building are consummated, in Revelation Chapters 21 and 22 - the Presence and Person of God are the focal point of the Temple, which is the City, for the City is the Temple and the People are the City and God Himself is in the midst - they see His face and need no light but the light of the God.

The book of Ezekiel begins with a vision of His Presence and culminates in a vision of the Temple. Not a bad inclusio for a ministry, not a bad trajectory. May we always be aware of His Presence, whether beheld in the grandeur of the Himalayas or sensed in the aroma of a rose; and may we always and forever know that our lives are not about us, but about others being built into the Living Temple of the Living God.

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