An Unforeseen Kiss

On most days in the gym, I listen to a wide range of music to keep me going.
Some days it’s Motown. Other days, it’s Hip Hop, or hits from the 90’s.
(And yes, there were a few of those.)

On this particular day it was a favorite station of worship songs on my Pandora App.
(It was leg-day, so I needed a little more inspiration than Pearl Jam could offer.)

As I rested in-between a superset of leg extensions and hamstring curls, I found myself absorbed in the refrain of “How He Loves Us,” by the Dave Crowder Band.
If you are not familiar with this beautiful expression of God’s unrelenting love, give yourself a gift and take five minutes to watch and listen here.

 

The strongest lyric rises out of the second verse…

And we are His portion and He is our prize,
Drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes,
If His grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking.
And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss,
And my heart turns violently inside of my chest,
I don’t have time to maintain these regrets,
When I think about the way…

That He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us,
Oh, how He loves us,
Oh, how He loves.

“And heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss.”
Did you catch that? How wonderful is that image?
[There’s even an alternative version of this song by a group called “Jesus Culture,” in which that line is replaced by the more provocative “Heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss.” Now that’s laugh-out-loud delightful!]

When I hear that line, I think of our current study in the Gospel of John.
No, really, I do.

Think about it.
How unexpected; how unforeseen; how heart-racingly delightful is this collision and collusion of heaven and earth, that we find the person of Jesus Christ?

The Jesus we find in John is the tangible, touchable life of God enfleshed among us.
In him heaven and earth have indeed kissed!

And here’s the most wonderful news: The same union is possible in us.
Jesus taught that the Holy can be experienced in the mundane. He demonstrated that God’s very presence can be experienced within and among any who see through the eyes of faith.

So, I sat and marveled as I looked around the gym at the incredible diversity of people running and lifting, and pressing and crunching, and was reminded how each of them and all of them (without exception) are gloriously loved.

As the refrain swells to crescendo, “…he loves us, oh how he loves us…” I was moved by the truth of that great line… “If his grace is an ocean, we’re ALL sinking.”

May you be overwhelmed today, by the unrelenting and unconditional love of God.
May you personally discover and delight in the countless ways in which heaven and earth perpetually meet in unforeseen kisses around you and within you, even now.

Shaun King
Senior Pastor
Johns Creek Baptist Church

2 Comments. Leave new

  • Margaret Pease
    March 4, 2016 10:40 pm

    I loved this and couldn’t stop hearing this refrain all day….Thank you, Shaun!

    Reply
  • Tony DeVyldere
    June 4, 2020 11:15 am

    I noticed that you didn’t reference John Mark McMillian, the writer of How He Loves Us. It worth reasearching the story of how and why the song was written. John was encountering the deep love of God while experiencing great loss. He has a couple blogs about it and a Vimeo. David Chowder confered with John Mark about changing the lyric prior to recording it; which was very honoring. David was also honoring toward the lager audience that he served by being sensitive to the imagery. He later blogged about his preference for the original lyric and he validates the experience behind it. Jesus Culture, with close ties to JMM, chose to record it with original lyrics.

    In the first few pages of Dirty Glory, Peter Greig, one of the founders of the modern 24/7 prayer moment, presents a interesting perspective on the Jesus ministry while he was on earth. His life was controversial and he was definitely a non- conformist. He was revealing a new kingdom and way of life and demonstrating the love of the Father in ways that it had never been seen before. We are the great beneficiaries of that life and message, however, it was not easy for everyone to understand then – or now. The religious leaders, his family, and even the deciples, from time to time, all approached him about changing his message, cleaning up his image; becoming more presentable to “believers”. It doesn’t seem that it is much different now. There is considerable effort by people across the spectrum of the Christian faith to clean up the image and expression of Jesus; to make Him more presentable. Ironically, the are doing this to present Him to a world of people that is longing for an authentic, life changing encounter with living God of the universe.
    Both JMM and DC have lamented the pressure to change song lyrics to present a cleaned up version of the very messy collision between heaven and earth. The gospel and power of God’s love is always most powerful when it is expressed authentically; vulnerably without fear or compromise.

    Reply

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