Luke 10: 17-24 Your Name Is Written in Heaven
“Lord, let your face shine on me.” What does the Lord’s face look like? As incredible as it may sound, the Lord appears like Job: A man tested in fire. Job is remarkable because he knew God and followed him. A man of dignity and honor, he faithfully observed God’s statutes and prayed like no other. And yet he bore infirmity, experienced suffering and was exposed to shame. Through it all, he remained like a child: holding on to the very Father who had betrayed and abandoned him. If we were to place a timeline on Job’s life, we would find the vast majority of his life lived in happiness and blessings. Only a small period of his life was filled with immense grief, suffering and loss. Ninety percent of the Book of Job is dedicated to this man’s pain, even though it only comprises ten percent of his life. The same holds true of the life of Christ. The Lord experienced three days of a brutal death, and yet it is very little in comparison to his entire life. Why do we focus so much on sorrow? Why are we attracted to so much pain? The reason lies deep within our hearts: we are attracted to sin. We are children of sin, and sin has infected our hearts. Of course we love LOVE. But we wait for the moment to be hurt. Yes, we long for the moment to be let down, for the dream to come to an end, for the towers to collapse, for the mask to be peeled off. We long to be the victim. No wonder atheists view Christ and Christians as Sadists and Masochists. In reality and true to themselves, they could not be further from the truth. Christ and Christians are not in love with pain, they are in love with LOVE.
Let us never forget: sin is a lack of love… from me! Those who sin, lack love, will always feel like the victim because sin imprisons the soul, sends me inward and turns on me wherever I go. I will blame others, accuse others, falsify others and judge others. Not unlike Adam and Eve, who turned on each other and on their surroundings, blaming the serpent for their fall. The truth is, the problem lies elsewhere: in my heart. As soon as the other knows me, I run. As soon as the other loves me, I run. As soon as the other figures me out, I escape. As soon as the other holds me down to a higher standard, I fear for my life! St. Paul reminds the Christians at Corinth: “You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted in your own hearts” (2Cor 6:12). I think badly of others because I think badly of myself. Sin turns the heart inwards and it has a name: selfishness. The Lord tells us, “There is no greater love, than to give your [love] to another.” The Love of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit will never fail. The Father did not fail Christ. God will not fail us.
How I long to see your face, my Lord and my God. I am told to rejoice because my name is written in Heaven. How could it not be so? Do I love you? Yes, I do. Do I adore you? Yes, I do. Do I wish to be with you? Yes, Lord, I do. This is a marriage that could only be made in Heaven. My name appears on the certificate. All that awaits heaven is my signature. There is one among the crowd that objects, satan. He protests to this union. This one has not been faithful to you. He has spoken poorly of you. He has neglected his duties towards you. He has not shown love. He has scattered and dissipated his love towards false idols. He is not worthy of you. But the Lord gave praise to the Father, “I have not lost one of those you gave me.” (Jn. 18:9) The problem with Satan is that he does not know the Son, or the Father. He does not know the Father of love. Therefore, he does not know the Son of God.
Lord, help me today to be more like you: a heart that is true, a mind that is pure, a soul that is clear and a will that is of steel.