Your Face Is Your Passport

Your Face is Your Passport

We needed to take our passports with us to the service this morning so we could prove we were not a national because they are not allowed to come to this church service. As we approached the doors with the greeters and we were about to hand them our passports, one gentleman made a gesture with his hand circling his face and said, “You don’t need that, Your Face is your Passport”.  HA! What an amazing experience being able to go to the Beijing International Church Fellowship. We were worshiping with people from all over the world lifting our voices together . The service was a special combined service in English and Mandarin, therefore we had to have translator headphones on when the pastor preached so we could understand what he was preaching. The worship songs were done in English and Mandarin and it was overwhelming to hear the voices lifted up … together praising the King of Kings. It was very emotional. Personally, my eyes seemed to have a little bit of a leaky problem. Where we really here?  In China? Worshiping God? A person in their church had written a special drama entitled “Seeing Lesson” with songs written to go along with it.  The drama was about the busyness of life that keeps us from pursuing Christ or making him the #1 priority, keeps us from seeing the opportunities that are placed in front of us every day to be Christ to someone else.  We all need a “Seeing Lesson”.

The sermon had 3 points

  1. All things are from God – All things are for His Glory
  2. All things are through Him – God is the effective cause
  3. All Things are FOR Him – God is the final cause

After the service we joined Jay who had to stay back at the hotel because he is a Chinese national and cannot attend the International Church.  We then headed to lunch, another wonderful Chinese meal and then on to the Forbidden City.  It was big and much of it in need of repair. Our guide brought 4 Chinese students that he knows to join us to be able to practice their English.  There was symbolism in everything inside the Forbidden City; The front gates, who could enter through them, who could not, who could be in certain places, what or why buildings were built , etc.

During debrief, many commented on the Forbidden City and how one individual (Emperor) could be given so much power and everything was all about him and his glory. There were outer courts and inner courts and everything was done for the pleasure of and obedience to the emperor only. Only certain people could go through certain gates, live in certain areas. Our JE guide Rachel said it reminded her of the Tabernacle in the Old Testament –  everything was done in obedience and for God. Outer courts and inner courts.  But when Jesus came, he brought a new way of thinking, he entered the world in a lowly manner and taught us … to be the greatest you must be a servant.  You are to serve …. No be served.  Coach Hughes said it like this,  ”People see things like the Forbidden City and aspire to be powerful, great in other people’s lives … we are called to be different.”

One our way to dinner we stopped by the food market for appetizers.  We had scorpions on a stick (actually good), gooey slugs(actually not), candied fruit, tofu and some kind of octopus tentacles on a stick (Yasmine and Mason say they were good)

Dinner was at a fancy restaurant where they specialize in Peking Duck. Many dignitaries go there to eat when they come to Beijing.  It was delicious! I don’t think I have ever seen duck prepared in that many ways.

We are getting better using our chopsticks!  Cold water is a rarity here.  Lukewarm or warm water or tea is the norm.

So…  back to this morning…  as we were going in to church and we were told  “Your face is your passport”  and it reminded me of a few scriptures with the word face in it.

Our faces connect us to others but most of all to our creator God –    We can seek his face, his face can shine on us, we can know him face to face.

Psalm 67:1 May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face shine on us

Psalm 105:4 Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always

Deuteronomy 34:10 Since then, no prophet has risen in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face,

1 Chronicles 16: 9 Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice. Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,

Join me in prayer for this senior class . Pray that they would be young men and women that would desire to seek after God with all their heart. They would seek his face and in return God will make HIS face shine on them and their endeavors. Pray that they would know him, the King of Kings over all ,throughout all time and believe that:

  1. All things are from God – All things are because of God and for his glory
  2. All things are through Him – God is the effective cause
  3. All Things are FOR Him – God is the final cause

Having an eternal hope knowing one day they WILL see him face to face.  And in a round about way they won’t need a special passport to get in … just an obedient servant’s heart because they have a relationship with him and … HE  will know their face!

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