“I beseech you therefore…by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” Romans 12:1&2
School is now in session at our home! With kids having gone back to school a couple of weeks ago, we’ve continued to enjoy the empty parks, pools, and public places. But as of Monday, our home’s school, Coram Deo Home Academy, has officially begun its academic year.
I thought a lot about what to name our school. When I was a kid, my parents named ours Rocky Mountain Christian Academy. My husband’s parents named theirs Emerald Christian School. (We were both homeschooled, as well.) I wanted something unique, something that reflected our values, our way of life, who we are, what we are. I put a few things in a homeschool name generator, asked a few people what they named theirs, and prayed a lot about it. Then I found it: Coram Deo.
I loved the sight of it. I loved the sound of it. And my heart already knew it.
The word coram comes from the Latin word cora, meaning the pupil of the eye. Deo is the Latin word for God. In the words of R.C. Sproul, “Coram Deo captures the essence of the Christian life.” A Latin phrase translated in the presence of God, it “literally refers to something that takes place in the presence of, or before the face of, God. To live Coram Deo is to live one’s life in the presence of God, under the authority of God, to the glory of God.”
Three days after our daughter was born, I sat in our living room as she lie peacefully on lap. My eyes could not leave her. She was perfect, precious, full of beauty and mystery. I sat and basked in her Creator’s glory. I began to talk to the Lord. I asked questions, I poured out praise, I sought advice, I rambled dreams. Then I stopped to listen.
His answer was Coram Deo. I didn’t know the words at the time, but He showed me the life. “Live before My face. Stay close enough to Me to hear My still, small voice, and I will guide you with My eye,” He said.
I have. He has.
To live Coram Deo is to live with an understanding that wherever and whenever and whatever we do, we are acting under the steady gaze of the Lord. To consciously live fully and completely in the presence of God is not reluctant compliance for fear of punishment, rather recognizing that to live as an honorable offering to God is our highest goal and greatest joy. To live Coram Deo decrees that there is no degree of separation between our thoughts and actions and God. “It is a life of wholeness that finds its unity and coherency in the majesty of God.”
Both emancipating and challenging, Coram Deo means there is nothing that is secular because all is sacred, and God is Lord of all. Serving and glorifying God takes its form in academics, parenthood, politics, service, speech, worship, and work. Faith and faithfulness penetrate each area of life and living. Grasping this concept breaks down the walls we’ve built around certain parts of our life, the ones we view as pedestrian, illegitimate, raw, or common, and presents them all to God for His glory.
Sisters, this is our call: Coram Deo. Before the face of God. All is seen; nothing’s hidden. Everything sacred – everything His. Living all our life in His presence, under His authority, and to His honor and glory.
In His name and for His glory, Jodi Greene