The Francis Asbury Society

FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 9/27

Posted on | September 27, 2015 | Comments Off on FACE TO FACE: Intimate Moments with God 9/27

Scripture reading: Ephesians 3:14–21

The Alphabet of Grace

No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him. (I Corinthians 2:9)

A few years ago I had the high privilege of being invited to read to my grandson’s pre-kindergarten class. Part of the teacher’s weekly schedule included time in the library where the boys and girls sat cross-legged on a rug while one of the parents or grandparents read to them from a book of their choosing. I chose to read one of my favorites, On Beyond Zebra by Dr. Seuss. The book tells the delightful story of Conrad Cornelius O’Donald O’Dell, a very young boy who was learning to spell. Like most of us, Conrad believed that the world was defined and contained by what his alphabet was able to describe.

So now I know everything anyone knows
From beginning to end. From the start to the close.
Because Z is as far as the alphabet goes.

However, Conrad’s world was turned upside down when a friend introduced him to another alphabet, an alphabet that goes on beyond Z! This new alphabet was composed of letters that Conrad had never before imagined, and these letters described realities that were unimaginable without the help of the new letters. His friend explained how it worked:

In the places I go there are things that I see That I never could spell if I stopped with the Z.
I’m telling you this ‘cause you’re one of my friends.
My alphabet starts where your alphabet ends!
. . . You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found Once you go beyond Z and start poking around!

And what a new world it was! The letter GLIKK enabled Conrad to discover a bug named glikker who juggles cinnamon seeds. And NUH was for nutches, animals who lived in caves known as nitches for hutches. And with new letters like THNAD, FLOOB, and YEKK, Conrad was able to enter a whole new world. Because finally, he said: This is really great stuff! And I guess the old alphabet ISN’T enough!

I like Dr. Seuss’ book for two reasons. First, it’s just great fun to read. Kids love the rhyme and rhythm as well as the crazy drawings. I do too. But secondly, On Beyond Zebra gives a powerful metaphor to help us better understand the difference the Gospel can make in a person’s life. When the Spirit of the living God takes residence in a human soul, well, that person is born from above and suddenly equipped to move into a whole new dimension of reality: On Beyond Z, so to speak. The alphabet of grace introduces us to a world of adventure and beauty we never imagined possible. God’s alphabet begins where your alphabet ends. You’ll be sort of surprised what there is to be found if you get into God and start poking around!

So, on beyond Z! It’s high time you were shown That you really don’t know all there is to be known.

Thou art coming to a King: large petitions with thee bring; for his grace and power are such none can ever ask too much.
—John Newton

point to ponder • How much God has prepared for you that you have never even imagined.

prayer focus • Opened eyes and courageous spirits to sail with God into uncharted waters.


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