With Your Face
‘You have made known to me the paths of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.’
– Acts 2:28
‘With your presence’ means, literally, ‘with your face’. Your presence, O Lord, is not abstract. It’s got a face. Your face puts an exclamation mark on your presence.
I was with my fellow Pastor, James Hoxworth, the other day, and we were having lunch amidst a gallery of golfing memorabilia. There was one picture in particular a photograph of two legendary golfers together, Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan, at the height of their prime.
It was one of my father’s favorite golfing pictures. He hung it in his office.
He used to say to me: look at the faces – what do you see?
Nelson was calm, confident, compassionate. Hogan was dogged, determined, distant. Quite a contrast of faces. You might say that the whole person is in the face.
It’s that way with God. The whole of God is in his face.
What do you see when you look at the face of God?
Do you see one who will lead you perfectly and keep you securely?
Do you see one who will never leave you or forsake you?
Do you see one who will never allow you to be shaken?
Is that the face you see?
If it is, you can say with King David: ‘with your face, O Lord, you make me full of gladness.’
Fullness of gladness! That’s life as God created life to be . . .
That’s the life Jesus knew, according to the prophetic words of King David (Ps. 16:11). And he has poured out that same life, which he received from the Father, on us!
‘This Jesus, God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.’