The Honored Guest
The Queen was coming. It was a special honor. The preparation was underway!
“The Queen coming to visit the city is a true honour. . . . As a Christian . . . to have her here to mark Maundy Thursday means all the more to me personally.” A university student in Leicester, England wrote these words earlier this year in anticipation of the visit to the city by the renowned royal visitor. The student expressed her desire to see the Queen, even if it had to be from a distance.
It is fascinating to watch the pageantry and protocol that is part and parcel of a visit of Britain’s head of state. In many nations, ‘kingdoms’, the ceremony that is an expected expression of honor is most fascinating.
When I was a boy, I remember my father accenting parts of a small tract, “An Honored Guest in Your Home”. I recall it spoke of this One as being the Guest at every meal, of His presence at all times in the home. As Dad read the tract, I knew that he had open heart, open home to this honored Guest.
The Sovereign over all earthly sovereigns. The Triune God! The One who reigns over the universe. He desired to be the Guest in our home! My parents established a holy regard for His presence! That regard was affirmed by numbers of others in my formative years. Over and again it has been affirmed by numerous others through the years of my career. My life has been enriched over and again. I have a “goodly heritage” (Ps. 16:6).
In my continued spiritual journey, when I ponder the mosaic of the sacred writings that compose the holy Scriptures, reverence for the majestic Sovereign and for His holiness rises in my inner being.
I confess. My personality type calls for deep inner reverence. As I seek to know better my Creator-Redeemer, I strive to learn of Him in nature, in the Scriptures, and through others who know Him. Of course, there are many who have known Him who have passed on from their sojourn here, and numbers of them have left us a legacy of their writings. From these there can be gleaned treasures of learning.
Honoring the GUEST in the Inner Sanctum
I am profoundly grateful for early training on honoring this Guest of all guests. Every day of my life, unless my schedule is totally interrupted, I meet with Him—through His Word, through prayerful communication—seeking to listen as I also make known my inner thoughts and requests.
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing.
I’d stay in the garden with Him
Tho’ the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go; thro’ the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
–C. Austin Miles
Into the inner space of my being I seek to welcome this Guest, morning by morning. That becomes the intentional open door, the affirmation, that He holds the honoured place in my life—that day, and every day. I have no more highly revered other in my life. My life objective is to hold Him in highest regard!
Honoring the GUEST in the Corporate Sanctuary
A part of my “goodly heritage” also has been a Christian tradition in which pastors and leaders have honoured this Guest in the corporate place of worship. Some of the most profound and formative moments of my life have been in the community of faith in the sanctuary. I have had opportunity to worship in services more liturgical. The tradition in which I was raised was more free.
I have sensed respect for the Holy One in both of these traditions. My spirit has communed as I have grasped the meaning of significant liturgy and of hymns. Frankly, the dignity invoked in liturgical worship, appropriately engaged, can express profound respect for the Sovereign. From another perspective, if liturgy becomes a matter of form and duty, without spiritual life, without the graced anointing of the Holy Spirit, the sanctuary experience can become dead. Perhaps this says something about the authenticity of the “God-life”, the living Presence of the Spirit of God, deep in the inner being.
And in my own experience, it is that life that is the vital component. When that is present through the empowerment of God’s Spirit, the honoring of this Sacred Guest is deeply desired and is enabled to go on and on. This, to me, is a part of laying hold of the beginnings of shalom in the here and now that will find its full climax when the King has abolished all evil and reigns over His restored creation.
He is worthy of our deepest honor!
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 Chloe Hewitt, “Queen set to visit Leicester in April”, Leicestershire Press. Accessed 25 May 2017 at https://leicestershirepress.com/2017/02/06/queen-set-to-visit-leicester-in-april/