1 Chronicles 16 and 1 Corinthians 10:23 – 11:1
We belong to God. We belong to our Creator God, Yahweh, LORD over all the earth, the creatures, the nations, the seas, the heavens. We belong to God who has made all things good, “the earth and its fullness are the Lord’s” (1 Cor 10: 26, quoting from Psalm 24:1). We belong to God, whose glory is sung across the universe: Splendour and majesty, strength and joy, marvelous works, holiness, salvation, goodness and steadfast love. The heavens are glad, the earth rejoices, the sea roars, the fields exult, the trees of the forest sing for joy. Wondrous works, miracles and judgements. The glory of God, the worthiness of God, the precious weightiness of His presence and value and faithfulness.
The glorification of God, honouring of God, giving God love, gratitude and worship, is the goal at the heart of our lives as His creatures. We are created to enjoy the freedom of growing into being fully human in the environment of this abundant earth, in the company of our Creator.
Wisdom and life experience teaches our freedom that “All things are lawful, but not all things are beneficial. All things are lawful, but not all things build up.” (I Cor 10: 23) At the most trivial level the post Easter chocolate haze is a great reminder of this truth! The earth may rejoice and the fields may exult, however every day in small and large ways we are faced with tough choices about how to bring glory to God as we live with our fellow human beings and with creation, in ways which do not bring harm or offense. We sense powerfully the tension of not seeking our own advantage, and instead seeking the advantage of the other.
Whether we eat or drink, or whatever we do, do everything for the glory of God (1 Cor 10:31). How can we live in a freedom which gives expression to our humanity, which honours the freedom and humanity of others, and in doing so brings glory to God?
Paul calls us to be imitators of Christ (1 Cor 11:1). And what is Christ’s example? Utter obedience, dependence and reliance on the goodness, faithfulness and love of God. Following in the steps of Christ is not about ‘trying hard.’ It is about taking on humility, trust and honesty before our Father. It is about loving and serving our neighbour, as we love ourselves. It is about the day to day miracle of Christ’s transformation in our lives, through our weakness and need.
For the glory of God is a living human; and the life of humanity consists in beholding God.