In the World, Not of It?

You’ve heard the phrase “not of this world?”

It’s a clever concept. The idea is simple, that we wouldn’t just float about, being swept up in the whims of culture and friendly persuasion, but would stand immoveable upon the bedrock of Christ.

I entirely agree that Christ should always serve as our compass, but I also would argue that that compass has changed shape over time, depending on our surrounding environs. Deuteronomy was written in the style of a Semitic covenant renewal. John borrows heavily from the gnostic tradition. Zoroastrianism helped open the gates to our understanding of Jesus and Satan as the champions of light and darkness, respectively. The revelations and manifestations of the most Holy God change and mutate depending on the setting in which the authors find themselves in, yet all of these experiences are ultimately submissive to Christ, who is the author and editor of our individual and collective faith journeys.

Lemme put it this way: if God were to come up to Adam and Eve and tell them about Tweeting, they would be utterly clueless, but instead He revealed Himself to them in a way they understood and that understanding continues to change over time as we as a corporate human race continues to change.

God is the God of past, present, and future. He is not confined to one cultural understanding of Him. He offers Himself to all people at all times through all ages and shall continue to do so until the return of His blessed Son, Jesus. He desires to be known and for none to be lost, going to any and every extent to fulfill those means, even coming in body, suffering and dying, and rising again so that He would experience everything we would experience and also rising above it into His blessed Kingdom.

Let us look with open hearts and minds and ears to how God wants to reveal to Himself to us today.

Take Me to the Renaissance

Take me to the Renaissance,

not the faire (though I do like a good turkey leg).

Take me waaaaaay back

to when we was all plump

and muscular

and innovative,

dancing

with nymphs,

chilling with Shakespeare,

communing with the greats

as they painted the Saints

Jesus on the cross

and glimpses blood and tumult

and heaven.

You’ve Got to Want Him

Read: Luke 24:13-35

I love the fact that, over and over again, Jesus’ own disciples do not recognize Him. Not on the road to Emmaus, not on the seaside. Not in entirety of the Old Testament. I think I love this so much because all of us, nowadays, “know” what Jesus looks like, because once upon a time a rich Spanish lord paid an artist to use his son to model as Jesus, and ever since then we have taken that image as THE picture of Jesus. But the Jesus in Scripture remains a mystery. He happens upon people, then He moves on, leaving them only with a feeling that they have been with the Divine.

This is important to note, because so often we KNOW who God is, what He is doing, and what He is saying to His people. But God remains higher, loftier, magical in a way. This is not because He does not want to be known. On the contrary, He wants people to seek Him out earnestly. To those people, He reveals Himself. You’ve got to want it. You’ve got to want Him.

So, friends, I leave you with this opportunity: to seek out the real and living God. He may surprise you. He may even shock you. But all that is good, because now you are in a real relationship, and relationship is at the core of our faith system.

Will you be so bold as to pursue Him?

The Desire to be Known

I think it’s fascinating that,

as long as the disciples knew Jesus,

they had they hardest time knowing Him as He was,

Savior and LORD, God of the universe.

The concept was just too high for them.

Yes, they did not yet have the discernment of the Holy Spirit

while He was with them in flesh,

but I don’t think much has changed since then.

The more years I spent with Jesus,

the larger and more intimate and mysterious He becomes.

He reminds me that He is LORD and I am man,

but He want to be known just as I would know my wife

or parents or friends.

So, in a way, that invites me to appreciate the mystery of those

around me, to constantly be amazed by them,

as they lower their guard and I lower mine,

and we all catch a glimpse of something beautiful,

something God designed in the very beginning.

Unwrapping Jesus

It’s Christmas,

and I’m unwrapping Jesus

Like a kid,

I’m voraciously tearing away

all the wrapping.

No matter how much it glitters,

it’s not God!

I don’t want it!

It’s not God.

I’m not satisfied until

I have him, hold him,

and he holds me.

Riiiiiiiip!

There you are Jesus,

beyond all the things I’ve made

beyond all Satan-tape.

You are there,

have always been there

waiting

for me.