Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Manifestation, Restoration

Psalm 80 -- 1 Corinthians 12:1-13

Manifestation, Restoration...or is it...Restoration, Manifestation

In reading the scriptures above these words stuck out. Psalm 80:3,7 and 19 say: "Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved." Restore us. I think we long to be restored, yet we run from the restoration process. I have a dining room table that would be magnificent if it were restored. Yet to be magnificent, it has to be stripped, laid bare, sanded, smoothed, then re-finished...rubbed, polished, cared for. In it's current state, it's functional, useful, not completely unattractive. It holds memories and bears the marks of a good life. And yet...if it were restored to it's previous grandeur, it would still be functional, useful, beautiful. It would still hold memories, and perhaps, it would sustain the marks of a life to come.

Restore us. Sounds humbling. Sounds frightening.
Sounds painful. Sounds ugly. Sounds like love. Sounds magnificent.

Then in 1 Corinthians 12:7 another word surfaces. "To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good." Manifestation. says of manifestation: "
An indication of the existence, reality, or presence of something." For example, morning sickness is an indication that you might be pregnant. There may not be visible signs of the existence of a child for some time, but that doesn't change the reality that a child is present. So, the Holy Spirit, manifests itself, shows itself, indicates it's presence in different ways for each person. Why? For the common good. This notion of a personal relationship with Christ is relatively new isn't it? We want personal service, individual recognition, our own blogspots, "my"space, personal identification numbers, "I"-pods, "I"-phones, it really is all about me. At least that's what I've made it.

So which comes first? Manifestation or Restoration? Restoration or Manifestation? Or do they come together? Does the Spirit manifest itself in the process of restoration? The restoration of each of us for the common good of all of us. Let your face shine, that we may be saved. Sounds magnificent.