“Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates”
United Methodist Hymnal – #213
… let us thy inner presence feel;
thy grace and love in us reveal.
Who doesn’t love a makeover show? In our modern day, we can observe people being “fixed” in almost every way, from clothing to haircut, from interior décor to landscaping. We even see people learn how to dance or cook. We ever so anxiously wait for the big reveal. And as we watch, how many of us secretly wish (or not so secretly wish) that one of those experts could turn their magic loose on us. We think about how our own natural “gifts” might be enhanced at the hands of a trained professional. But if we are honest with ourselves, we know that whatever is changed would probably be just a superficial “alteration”. At the risk of sounding trite, it’s really about what’s inside a person. How many beautiful people do we know that struggle with horrible self images. How many exquisitely decorated homes have we visited that still seem cold and unwelcoming. I’m not suggesting that we don’t do our best at maximizing our individual potentials. Rather, during this season of Advent, we should strive for another kind of reveal. What if everyone worked toward revealing God’s grace and love, working in them and through them? Does God really care about our manicured lawns, if our striving for perfection takes away time that we might have spent caring for a neighbor, or volunteering at a shelter for the unloved and/or disenfranchised?
Lift up your heads, O gates!
and be lifted up, O ancient doors!
that the King of Glory may come in.
PSALM 24: 7
God of grace and love, come to us now and fill us. Help us to see the “you” that’s present in us. Instead of obsessing over our homes, our yards, and/or our appearances, let us reveal to the world your presence, dwelling in each of us. As we wait for your earthly incarnation, may we be reborn as your children, aglow with your inner presence, revealing your love and light. Amen.
~ Rev. L. Michael Kelley