Even as I have been fully known

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord; we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory. (BCP 95)

The opening lines of the Te Deum really caught my attention this morning, coming as they did on the heels of Paul’s famous “love passage” from the first letter to the Corinthians.

For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. Now I know only in part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. (1 Cor. 13:12)

This is a marvelous thing, that we will one day “know fully” and “see face to face” the God that all creation worships. It is just as marvelous to think that we are even now “fully known” by that same God.

I don’t know about you, but I am fortunate to have in my life people who see parts of me more clearly than I can see them myself. When I am not living up to my potential, when I am missing the mark, I can trust them to help me get back on course. Their insight and observations may not be comfortable, but they are true and dependable.

The people in Paul’s congregation at Corinth had fallen way off the rails, and in today’s Epistle reading we see his clear-eyed, firm, but loving response. He knew them fully and loved them deeply.

I thank God that I have people like that in my life, and that from time to time I am the clear-eyed one for someone else. This “knowing and being known” is one of the loveliest aspects of life in the communion of saints, the Body of Christ.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting. (BCP 96)

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