Take the Far Look and See

by | Dec 29, 2019

A man whose work demanded constant reading began to have difficulty with his eyes. So he consulted a physician, and after an examination, the doctor said, “Your eyes are just tired; you need to rest them.” “But,” he replied, “that’s impossible in my type of work.” After a few moments, the doctor asked, “Do you have windows at your workplace?” “Oh, yes,” he answered. “From the front windows, I can see the noble peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and from the rear windows, I can look out at the glorious Allegheny foothills.” The physician replied, “That is exactly what you need. When your eyes feel tired, go look at your mountains for 10 minutes—20 would be better, and the far look will rest your eyes!”


I don’t know what 2020 holds for you, your church, or our family of churches. Regardless of what sovereignty brings our way, it is the “far look” that we will all need to pierce through the mundane, the challenges, the sorrows, the tiredness we will feel and even the joys to see the one thing that will bring rest to our souls and help sustain us in the coming year. What do we need to see? The beauty of the glory of Christ.


To see His glory, we must remember that the only reason we have the eyes of faith to see the glory of Christ is because God has chosen to share His glory with us through the person and work of Jesus Christ in the gospel, who imparts His righteousness to us. It’s why Jesus prays to the Father, “The glory that you have given me I have given them, that they may be one even as we are one.” (John 17:22)


As you step into 2020, remember the most important things are not what others say about you, or the challenges you face, or temporal joys you experience, or trials you walk through. The essential truth of 2020 is that nothing will remove the robe of righteousness Christ has adorned you with through his death on the cross. And it’s at the cross that we see the beauty of the glory of Christ most clearly. Michael Reeves, in his book Delighting in the Trinity, says it so well, “Astonishingly, the moment when Jesus finally reaches the deepest point of his humiliation, at the cross, is the moment when he is glorified and most clearly seen for who he is. On the cross we see the glorification of the glory of God, the deepest revelation of the very heart of God-and it is all about laying down his own life to give life, to bear fruit. The reformer John Calvin wrote that ‘in the cross of Christ, as in a magnificent theatre, the inestimable goodness of God is displayed before the whole world. In all the creatures, indeed, both high and low, the glory of God shines, but nowhere has it shone more brightly than in the cross.’” [1]


May the coming year be filled with many “far looks” at Calvary, where we see the glory of God shine most brightly. When you find yourself discouraged, when your soul is weary, take time to make the “far look” and gaze upon the beauty of the glory of Christ seen most vividly at the cross. Let us continue to be a people, and a family of churches who treasure, preach, and share Christ. Let us marvel at the glory of Christ, not only to strengthen our souls, but to invite others to take the “far look” with us, and with eyes of faith, see that which only satisfies; the glory of Christ.


 [1] Michael Reeves, Delighting in the Trinity, (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2012), 127.