By: Jana Greene
Hello, dear Readers,
I’m hoping to write more regularly here at The Beggar’s Bakery. I hope, because there are about a baker’s dozen of life issues that keep ‘getting in the way’ of my creativity. Too much brain-space being rented out to things that are out of my control anyway. Know what I mean?
Yesterday was a super sick day for me. Caught something sometime in the previous week, and it camped out in my system until I became a blathering lump of self-pity who couldn’t get out of bed, even though I really tried. Mind / Body / Spirit = all connected.
There was also family drama. (Spoiler alert: You never stop worrying about your kids, no matter how old they get.) And job (or lack thereof) drama.
So I was under approximately 8 blankets and still cold when I brought this revered prayer to the Creator of the Universe:
“You never give me anything good to write about anymore.” It actually came all the way out of my parched mouth. What a whiner! (It’s okay,though. He’s my Daddy and knows I get a little sassy when sick.)
What’s the rule about fighting fair? “Never say never, or always?”
Abba brought to mind the movie, The Shack (which I highly recommend seeing at least once) the scene where the God character reminds the protagonist that “When you focus on the pain, you lose sight of Me.”
Oh yes, that.
That pain thing is a real time and energy suck. But if adversity is good for nothing else, it makes for interesting written fodder on the other side of this.
On the other side. What ‘other side’ is there? We, who see through a glass so darkly, cannot differentiate one ‘side’ from another.
That’s where this very Eastery thought came into play. It’s really the Eastery-est thought I think I’ve ever had, and I want to share it with you.
Christ, by virtue of the Resurrection, is everything. Or he is nothing. We have heard that before, but let it rest on your brainspace for a bit and settle in your Spirit: ONE God. ONE Man. ONE Day.
Either the Resurrection changed everything, or it changed nothing.
Either everything matters or nothing does.
Either He died for all, or died for none.
Either It is Finished, or It is Incomplete.
(If its incomplete, holy cow – FINISH it already – this planet is a MESS!)
In class, I’ve been exploring the Incarnation as a voluntary deed on the part of Jesus. I had always assumed that God and Jesus were just doing what they had to do, begrudgingly, and Holy Spirit was left behind to sweep up the mess. Kicking and screaming. How tragic that I’d understood it like that all my 48 years!
The lavish and abundant Truth is not a concept, but a person.
And what if that Person loved you more than anything in all the universe He created?
What if He isn’t an Aztec-style god, demanding the ongoing sacrifice – or heads will roll? What if He is a God who cradles your head in His lap when you’re broken?
This grace doctrine…it is scandalous in its oozing of mercy, positively radical in its inclusion. I’m not suggesting that The Passion of the Christ be sanitized to appease the masses, but to embrace the loving God whose Passion is US. His blood was not a country club membership, carte blanche for those who tow the line. If the Creator fashioned this elaborate universe for only a select few to partake in, does that cheapen the lavishness of His love for all?
What if He rolled away the stone over 2,000 years ago so that He can meet you right now, exactly where you are, exactly who you are?
I believe in a God that allows – for whatever good purpose – his kids to experience consequences. I’m a parent. I’m on board with that. The god who withholds his love while they suffer? No thanks. My God is no sadist, enjoying pummeling His son with a cat of 9 tails so that we can enter the country club.
Easter is the most make-it or break-it occasion in the Christian faith. And according to Jesus, “It is finished.”
The hard part is learning to rest in that – no head-rolling necessary.
You are included in His finished work. Trust in that.
He is never mad at you.
He always loves you, even on this side – where you cannot see what’s around the corner.
Happy Easter, my friends.