Recently I was looking for a picture to represent Christ’s exuberant worship of the Father. This was no easy task, and actually I never could find one that conveyed it well. As you might know, I use pictures in this blog and throughout every episode of the Shulamite Podcast to visually communicate the concepts or thoughts that are being expressed. A tricky task for sure! But when I was looking for an image that expressed Christ’s exuberance, there were none to be had. Christ is portrayed in reverence, as a stoic authority, even as a buddy, but what is most rare is Christ’s explosive reality. Funny, even in our pictures depicting Him, we prefer calm and contained to wild and expressive.
The reason I was looking for this image was because in Podcast #430, Martha asks me to describe Christ’s worship of the Father in my body. You may remember during the incident when I cut off my finger that I experienced Christ exuberant worship of the Father within me. He did this in the very place where no worship was present—a dark place of fear of illness and injury that had been there since my childhood. Essentially, Christ worshipped to bring Light into darkness. I’ll never be the same!
So off I went to find a visual representation of what I witnessed. And what I found was, for centuries we have often depicted God with what makes us safe and comfortable. We limit Him within the confines of what is manageable. Baby, old wise man, stoic man with fingers raised, white dove, crucified savior, shepherd—but what I couldn’t find was Him as I had witnessed.
Jesus’ expression of love and exuberant worship towards the Father was anything but manageable. He was loud and full-orbed. His communication was what most would call extreme, even scary. His exuberant worship was explosive, atomic, and uncontainable. And I simply couldn’t find a single image that even remotely conveyed this joy-filled exuberance.
So I went and asked Him, “Where’s this enthusiasm demonstrated?” Is it in a spectacular, awe-inspiring sunrise or sunset, the view of our immense galaxy, or perhaps at the breath-taking edge of the wondrous Grand Canyon? No, He led me to something much simpler. The only thing I’ve seen that remotely touches the exuberance of Christ is in the face of a child. The excitement of a child is the closest representation I’ve seen that expresses the elation of Jesus.
And then I understood another aspect of Christ’s affection for and defense of the CHILD. A young child expresses the untarnished intensity of the heart. A small child lives life, all out, with no governors to control. A child demonstrates zeal more in tune with their Creator—He who generated all colors, sounds, senses and life. The Son of God is a child towards His Daddy, and leads us all to be as well.
From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.
Matthew 21:16b NIV
He called a little child and had him stand among them. And He said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me.
Matthew 18:2-6 NIV
Be careful that you never despise a single one of these little ones—for I tell you that they have angels who see my Father’s face continually in Heaven.
Matthew 18:10 PHILLIPS
Oh John, I am now always a bit cautious when in a large fellowship gathering during praise or worship. I am loud and explosive once the spirit of worship comes through His anointing! I am aware that it is unsettling to many people, but also would not trade it for anything in the world!!!
Lots of love!
He IS worthy of our praises and adoration!
The only thing I’ve seen that remotely touches the exuberance of Christ is in the face of a child. The excitement of a child is the closest representation I’ve seen that expresses the elation of Jesus. This year you are sharing with such an elated and restful vision of God. Thank you, John. I see children everyday (3-12 years old), and I can tell you they are so true to themselves and everyone around. In school they stand in the way of the untruthful adultness as the only thing real and touchable. Teachers themselves after years of training and teaching… Read more »
Having just spent a week with 5 of my grandchildren, including two-year old twin boys, I say a resounding amen!