Wednesday, May 2nd,
All rights reserved © message by Kris Jackson
I hope to see you shortly, and we shall speak face to face. Peace to you..." (3
In both epistles of Second and Third John the
apostle said he didn't want to write "with paper and ink", instead he longed to
see his friends "face to face". Humans were designed for social communion. We
dine face to face across the dinner table. Unlike all other animals humans meet
and mate face to face. Photos of loved ones' faces decorate our walls. It's the
face that memory pulls up first. "As in water face answers face, so the heart
of man to man" Proverbs 27:19). That implies that we have to face ourselves,
face the music, face the facts and one day face God. What
we know now in part we will know then in perfection. "For now we see in a
mirror, dimly, but then face to face..." (1 Corinthians 13:12 NKJV)
Sometimes we will lose face. Sometimes we need
to face off. Little progress is made negotiating through an intermediary.
Things changed when Reagan and Gorbachev duked it out face to face. Solomon
taught that "iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his
friend" (Proverbs 27:17). There is friction in face to face meetings that the
flesh prefers avoiding. When Peter ate ham sandwiches with the Gentiles then
acted super-kosher when his Jewish buddies walked in, it ticked Paul off. "I
withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed" (Galatians 2:11). Yea,
the blood pressure rises when a preacher, coach or parent gets "in your face"
but it's all part of the sanding process.
But the face to face reunion dreamt of in our
text was ripe with sweet thoughts. "Night and day praying without ceasing that
we might see your face..." (1 Thessalonians 3:10) Paul had shared both smiles and
tears with his friends. Snapshots of faces were photo-imprinted on his mental
hard drive but photos could never replace the real thing. He closed the photo
album and said to his partner Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our
friends..." (Acts 15:36) He wanted to live life first-person, face to face.
One day we will behold Jesus' face. Fannie
Crosby was blind but she felt herself privileged because, unlike others, when
her eyes would finally open in the resurrection, the first face she would see
would be Jesus'. "And I shall see Him face to face, and tell the story, saved
by grace!" That was David's longing as well. "As for me, I will behold your
face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied, when I awake with thy likeness"
(Psalm 17:15). What makes heaven Heaven is what the hymnist called "faces all
aglow". But it is also what makes earth Heaven. John wrote "I hope to see you
shortly". By hope we can cope. Life doesn't come with a money back guarantee.
We hope for that Marine's safe return. We hope for the next family Christmas.
Face to face is the prayer-goal of every mother, believing the circle will be
unbroken. "I hope to come to you and speak face to face, that our joy may be
full" (2 John 12). Complete joy can't come when relationships are estranged at
polar ice caps. Earth's deepest warmth is discovered at the equator. Don't
think of it as compromise, rather conciliation. Face to face is the best
position for instruction, dialogue, complimenting, apologies, confirming love
or whatever. Hearts warm where faces meet.