Jude’s Doxology Part 2
To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy— to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen. Jude 1:24-25
These verses of praise to God conclude Jude’s short letter to the believers.
In Part 2 of our exploration of this doxology, we shine a light on the second phrase.
To him who is able to…present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy.
He is able to present me without fault. Faultless. I cannot begin to imagine what a faultless version of me would look like. It’s the version of me I was always meant to be, the way God created me in my mother’s womb. Throughout my life, there have been enough people who are quick to point out my faults – and actually, I am right up there with the loudest voice of all, making myself feel bad for the way I am. To be seen as faultless feels unimaginable – I yearn for it with all my heart and soul.
Of course, each one of us has to be faultless to be able to stand before his glorious presence – perfection itself, perfection embodied. I cannot begin to imagine what His glorious presence will be like. I picture the brightest light shining on me and I’m standing there completely exposed, nowhere to hide – and yet I don’t need to hide, I have nothing to hide. There is no shame.
That’s where the great joy comes in. Everything then will be exactly as it is meant to have been all the way along. There’s a glimpse of understanding for me in parenting: I love all my kids with all my heart all of the time, but sometimes they’re making choices I’d rather they didn’t or behaving in ways that concern me greatly…and in those moments, my heart imagines a different scenario – ‘If only…’. I picture a better way, a better path towards health and happiness. I yearn for it for them. I long for reconciliation and restored relationships, for wholeness and peace. And at those times they make life-giving choices, I rejoice. Every part of me rejoices. All the sorrow and despair are replaced by joy. Is this how God feels about us?
On that day (that day that will last an eternity), the joy will be complete. Unimaginable as that seems right now.
One final thought: because we will all be made perfect to stand before God, why bother striving to get it right now? If grace will forgive all our wrongs, if Jesus has paid the price for all our sin, why not just carry on having the time of our lives right now?
For me, I’ve always seen it this way: I want the discrepancy between the way I am now and the way I am on that day to be as little as possible. I can start living in the truth of this hope right now. I will never be perfect this side of heaven, but I can experience the joy (and so will God, I believe) of living as much in the way God created me to live as possible. Jesus didn’t tell his followers to wait for the kingdom – he told them to pray for that kingdom to be lived out on earth as in heaven as we seek for God’s will to be done in every situation in our lives.
Are you with me?
Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be your name.
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done
On earth as in heaven.