Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mysterious Easter

The other day I sat in a coffee shop and watched people rush past.  Here and there, to and fro.  The great philosopher Socrates said, "Beware of the barrenness of the busy life."   But, sadly, this is how we often live. The modern world rushes on and we let ourselves be robbed. We think we're wise, but we're foolish.  We think we're something special in our progressive, 'enlightened' state, but we're just proud.  We think we're accomplishing, but we often miss out.

We spend our whole lives trying to become more wise, more knowledgeable, more in control of our own destiny while one of the mysteries of the gospel is the exact opposite; we must become like a little child (Matt. 18:3).  We must let go of our own self-sufficiency to truly enter into Him, to trust, to grow.

I, for one, don't enjoy this painful process, but I do like the results.  Becoming closer to Him.  Becoming a better conduit of His love.

It seems like a strange thing to ask, this becoming childlike, but something that He Himself was willing to give.  Our example, the Creator of the universe as a tiny helpless babe.....

Oh, how He loves us.

I don't understand this humility.  It's foreign to our natural state.  I struggle to live it out within my own little community of well-loved family and friends, let alone being like the Perfect One abused and dying for the masses.....

"Christ died for all men precisely because men are not worth dying for; to make them worth it."  
(C.S. Lewis)  

Masses of millions lying, cheating, hurting each other.  Many just living for the betterment of themselves.  A huge comfort to me while living in Kolkata was the thought that while the pain that I saw on the streets every day shredded my own heart, how much more bloody the heart must be of the Omnipresent One who sees it ALL everywhere.  Fellowship in suffering.

Oh, how He loves us.

But love can be distorted and misunderstood,  "Because fellow humans who are supposed to love us well don't always do a very good job, we project that inadequate human love onto God.  If we could ever begin to truly grasp the depth of the love God has for us, it would forever change the way we view him, the plans he has for us, and the way we see ourselves."  (Kay Warren)  Instead we need to, "fix(ing) our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith." (Heb. 12:2)  Other versions say, "the champion," "the author," "the source," "the founder," "the leader," "the maker of faith."  That's Who we need to gaze upon.  We need to develop the habit of keeping our eyes on Him more than we do on the problems around us.  Where are your eyes today?  Looking at problems and pain, or fixed on the One who is the solution?

"God and love are synonymous.  Love is not an attribute of God, it is God.  Whatever God is, love is." (Oswald Chambers) If we spend a lifetime seeking Him we will only scratch the surface of Who He is, and therefore, what is love.  

And, oh, how He loves us.

He loved us as the Creator, as that helpless little babe, as the Savior on the cross, as the Author of our faith.  He loves us in our helplessness, in our pride, in our selfishness, in our greed; our imperfection.  He love us in our struggles and through our lack of trust, lack of faith and through the minefield of doubt.  He loves us to the Cross and back....

He will never, ever love us more than He does right now----and He will never, ever love us less.   Pause and reflect, embrace that this Easter.  Embrace Him.  

"But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins, 
He was beaten so we could be whole.
He was whipped so we could be healed.......

......When he sees all that is accomplished by his anguish, 
he will be satisfied.  
And because of his experience, my righteous servant will make it possible for many to be counted righteous, for he will bear all their sins."  (Is. 53:5,11)

Because of love.