On Christmas Eve, as my husband, Paul munched on gorgeous fresh cheese buns and dolce coffee at Felicio’s, a new Brazilian bakery by friends, Valdjir and Alessandra Felicio, we rejoiced to be with our dear friends, Matt and Gaetane Marshall, prophets, intercessors and Jesus-lovers.
As we exchanged gifts of cheer, Gaetane handed me a card with a huge silver key ornament, looked me straight in the eye, and said, “Remember, the Master key which opens every door is Love.”
Since then, keys have been jumping out at me: my daughter opened a key pendant at Christmas, my wee daughter pasted heart key stickers all over her tea table, a gold key went missing from my key ring for work. Keys are crowding my contemplative heart and I am listening hard to hear what God is trying to tell me.
Around 512 BC,Zechariah spoke God’s dreams of the coming Messiah as he addressed the returning exiles from Babylon, encouraging them to put their hands to the task of building the temple of God, for their current history was the future of Zion more than their past as exiles:
For the seed shall be prosperous,The vine shall give its fruit,
The ground shall give her increase,
And the heavens shall give their dew—
I will cause the remnant of this people
To possess all these…
15 So again in these days
I am determined to do good
To Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Do not fear.
In 2013, and for always, God is determined to do good to each of us. Yet the Kingdom is unlocked by life-impacting keys. Father God always dreams bigger than our singular lives. God explains His transformational plan which begins with His people:
16 These are the things you shall do:
Speak each man the truth to his neighbour;
Give judgement in your gates for truth, justice, and peace;
17 Let none of you think evil in your[a] heart against your neighbour;
And do not love a false oath.
For all these are things that I hate,’
All through Zechariah, God cries to His returning people, “Live as Zion! Be My Zion!” Zion is God’s Kingdom come, where His people speak truth, love peace, believe good about their neighbour, hate lies and live as a wellspring of resurrection power. Zion, birthed in God’s heart, was established by God’s Son as promised in Isaiah:
Behold, I lay in Zion a stone for a foundation,A tried stone, a precious cornerstone, a sure foundation;Whoever believes will not act hastily.17 Also I will make justice the measuring line,And righteousness the plummet;
The cornerstone of Zion was laid by Jesus Christ the Messiah’s blood sacrifice. Zealously, God longs for His Zion, where His people fast with joy and gladness (Zech 8:1,18) rejoicing in the intimacy as Christ’s Bride, as the redeemed nation of Zion arises to impact nations with contagious passion:
Peoples shall yet come,
Inhabitants of many cities;The inhabitants of one city shall go to another, saying,“Let us continue to go and pray before the Lord,
And seek the Lord of hosts.
I myself will go also.”
22 Yes, many peoples and strong nations
Shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem,
And to pray before the Lord.’
God dreams of Zion, when His kids languish before Him again, like the Welsh young adults who were so desperate for the Presence of God that they forsook all, taking the entire nation as God’s Presence settled upon whole cities and changed the entire nation.
God longs for Zion where His children seek God for Himself, where prayer breaks out in force, and nearby cities jealously pray with deep desire for the Lord. Sons and daughters of Zion are sought after, not because of their status or success but because they walk before their God: “in those days ten men from every language of the nations shall grasp the sleeve of a Jewish man, saying, ‘Let us go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.’” (Zech 8:23).
Zion is a nation of blessing as His children walk in love, cling to truth and administer peace from a deep place of knowing and loving God their Father, Christ their Saviour and the Holy Spirit, their Counsellor. Though God may bless the world with angelic forces dropping parachute packages of relief from heaven, Zion is God’s hand to hand ground force. God’s heart for the nations is offered through His children’s lips, hands, hearts. God’s dreams of Zion, where His kids smell like heaven and sound like peace as His will is done on earth as it is in heaven, always opening doors with the master key of His great love.
Keys of truth, love and peace open the gates to Zion, the holy Kingdom of God, where the Lord is enthroned as King Supreme. This 2013, we are resolved to be His Zion. Given our human weakness and self-centeredness, we will daily seek our God, that we may be graced to cling to truth and love peace.
May the Master’s key of Love open every door. May each of us live to praise our Magnificent King with every ounce of who He has made us to be.