Sunday, April 26, 2009
Is it possible?
Continued from before I believe much of what Jesus did in his mission here on earth was largely unseen, and mysterious. I do believe in a spiritual realm that we cannot see, and the obscure references to Jesus passing judgment on the gates of hell are odd and hard to grasp. While these ideas are not without merit or importance, I try and put my attention on what I can understand and communicate. I can posit an idea or two about heaven and hell, but I am living on earth here and now, and feel I can speak a little more clearly about the latter. With all the words of Jesus we have recorded, if I can take the liberty to summarize all he said in one little phrase, it would be these three words: "You are free." Its because freedom in the reason He set us free. Freedom to do right. Freedom to do good. Freedom to believe that I am free. I just didn't experienced a whole lot of that when I was immersed in church culture. Freedom was something to be feared. One guy told me that he would rather err on the side of law than on the side of grace. He explained that if he was to wander, at least he would be far enough away from being accused of being loose or immoral. Discipline would keep him safer from sinning than would the risks of freedom. I didn't get the logic of his idea. If I'm going to err, I'm going to err. Does it matter which side of the line I fall? Jesus' call to freedom releases me to follow what he pointed to as the Greatest Commandment. Do I love well? Would God and others say I do? If not, why not? I think we get too hung up on trying to find a specific blueprint of what Jesus wants me to do and less aware of what He hopes we will do. Consider the things Jesus never did. He never was married, never had kids, never owned a house, all three of which many men today do. Instead of trying to figure out what Jesus would do as a husband, father, or homeowner, is it too much of a stretch to imagine him asking, "What would you do?" My dad was a man of deep faith, and it affected how he lived and how he raised me. His biggest legacy was instilling a belief that he was behind me in whatever I did. Is it possible that Jesus is trying to do the same? I think my dad and Jesus were trying to tell me the same thing... ...you are free.