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Bless his holy name

Try looking at the world through God’s eyes. Imagine that you are God and that you are seeing the world which you have created, with all its peoples. How do you look at your people, as a stern judge, deciding and prescribing penalties, or as a capricious abuser of power, like the Greek gods, or as a lover?

Jesus has shown us that God looks at all the peoples of the world and each individual as a lover. God loved us so much, that he sent his only son as his loving gift for us.

When God looks at each of us, God sees the depths of each human heart. God’s heart speaks to our heart, and God knows us. God loves each of us, uniquely, individually. The life and death of each of us is immensely important, because we belong to God. If we live, we live for the Lord and, if we die, we die for the Lord.

Now try looking at the world through the eyes of human wisdom. The great Chinese historian, Sima Qian, put the world’s standpoint very well, when he wrote,
“Though death befalls all men alike, it may be weightier than Mount Tai or lighter than a feather.”

Human wisdom makes distinctions between one person and another. These distinctions may be based on many kinds of criteria. We still see this being done today. Are you a gorgeous starlet? Your death will make the pages of the tabloids.

Are you a powerful ruler? Historians like Sima Qian will record your military triumphs. Are you a great philosopher? Your books will be in every university library. Are you just an ordinary person? Within a few years, your life and death will be forgotten, even in your own family. The assessment of the world can be very cruel.

Because God looks at the world as a lover, looking at the beloved, the view is quite different.  From the life and teaching of Jesus, we have insights into that viewpoint. First, God does not forget us. Each of us is loved. Perhaps we are not good at loving God in return, but that does not stop God from loving us.

Just as the loving parent of a child with extreme special needs can love their child without need of return, so God can love us, even when we fail to love in return. And second, when the lover looks at the beloved, the best response is one of love.

So when God sees the ordinary loving parents of a problem-stricken child giving themselves in love for that child, without any hope or expectation of return, there God finds true lovers. Those parents are like God, even though they will never be famous in the eyes of the world.

It is always extremely challenging to look at the world through God’s eyes. But it brings us great joy when we do this. When we look at the world through God’s eyes, we are looking through the eyes of the one who is kind and merciful, slow to anger and rich in compassion.

Since God feels like this about all people, then it helps us to have the same kindness, the same mercy, the same compassion. Because of this wonderful attitude, we are able to sing, “My soul, give thanks to the Lord, all my being bless his holy name.”

RO’B