Turn your eyes upon Jesus;Helen Howarth Lemmel (1922)
Look full in his wonderful face.
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace.
Sometimes I find a photograph that speaks volumes, and I just have to build a post around it.
I was scrolling through some blogs from a couple of years ago, looking for something entirely unrelated to church, when this image of Rebekah just grabbed me.
She is preaching, at WFPC, during the contemporary praise service, downstairs in the Christian Life Center. I don’t know what the sermon was about (well, I do, because obviously if it was Rebekah then it was about Jesus…!) but what grabbed me was the light. I don’t use flash so the light isn’t projected on, it’s being projected out.
Rebekah may be retired in terms of her service as a senior pastor leading a large Presbyterian church, but the luminosity is still very much there. And the light tells an important story – reveals an important truth – about God, and what God intends to accomplish through the lives of people who follow Jesus.
We have, in simplest terms, been purposed to shine.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus:
But we’re more like the moon than we are the sun, because the light we offer is the light we are saturated in ourselves. And we don’t shine – we can’t shine – unless we have first rested in the light.
Not our light, but God’s light. Not a reflection on who we are or what we have, but who we serve. Not “look at me,” but “look at who I follow…” Turn your eyes in the direction of Jesus.
“For of his fullness have we all received,” John writes in verse 16 of his amazing opening to the gospel account, “grace upon grace.”
God’s fullness is light. Jesus is the purest expression of that light. Grace upon grace shinning in and through us. How we in turn shine is one of the critically important ways God extends that grace to this world.
This morning it is another Sunday. Rebekah and I will be headed to church, to stand in the light of his glory and grace.
“Turn your eyes upon Jesus; look full in his wonderful face. And the things of Earth will look strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”