Week 3 Reflection: 1 Peter 1: 6-7
In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Every moment, it seems, is now, or can be, a Cross. History, this time of apparently meaningless suffering, is now given the privilege of not always being meaningless, the present tense (present, it seems, in its shagginess and randomness) is given the privilege of becoming a Cross. The trading off of the age of Sin to the Kingdom that comes. Every moment is the place where mine can become His.
What does it mean that our trust [faith] can and must become--by the time Christ gets here and the Cross of history is done with us--tested and genuine?
Tested means our trust will have done more than we expected it to. Our trust will have handed over more of ourselves to the Lord than we wanted it to. The heart will have finally become--by the strain and struggle of faith--a place of worship, a place where we offer ourselves in trust.
Genuine, means that by the time our trust has handed it all over to the Lord [all those things we did not want or expect to] our trust will finally be what it should be, can finally be called trust and not opportunism or transaction.
And when Christ comes back, what He will use to adorn himself with, what he will count precious, the crown he will wear, will be the tested and genuine trust of his people.
A man walks out of the care home that I try to visit each day. He walks out to a blanket set on the floor, shaking but trusting this little fellowship of prayer that meets on the stoop outside the care home doors. His trust makes him sit down. His trust makes him lean forward, tune in.
And what the Lord sees in something like that, what the Lord sees in a little offering of our shaking hands, is more than a big pile of gold, or the stones of a cathedral.
He sees something he can work with, adorn himself with. He sees his return in glory.
When we have gripped Christ with that fragile shaking thing called trust, we have grasped, in grasping Christ, our own glory and honor. What will adorn Christ at his revelation, what will shimmer off his crown, is that shaking man’s trust.
How to tell that shaking man that what I see, when his trembling hands join us, is glory?
Glory is God at his most creative, most beautiful. Glory is heaven showing off to earth. Glory is God on display.
And the word for Christ with people, the word for Christ finally with the people who trust Him, is glory. He longs for it, prays for it, intercedes for. Wields His Spirit like sword and staff for it.
By His Death he rescued us, secured our trust. By Resurrection he nurtures and leads it. But by His Return he fulfills it. When He comes back our Trust—not our thoughts, not our feelings, our trust--transfigured, takes on its namesake. Glory.