Jesus was sent to us, but we must come to him.
The Father sends his Son, but pulls his children toward the door at which the Son arrives and stands. The Father sends his Son to as many of His children as will receive him. He sends His oldest and wisest Son to gather his wayward brothers and sisters. To gather the children given him. But the children to whom the Son may go, are only the ones who will receive him. Of all the children of darkness, as many as can must first feel the pull of the Father toward something—the bright and shining daylight of the Son. And the Son is to lose none of all those he finds. But the ones He finds must first want to be found.
John 5 and 6! What are you supposed to do with this? What are you supposed to do with Jesus? Every so-called Christian should sit at the feet of these two chapters until they can find a way not to be offended by Christ or frightened to death of God. Not to move on to Paul’s love until they can withstand Jesus’s.
“You do not want to leave too, do you?”
It seems the eternal decree from God given to Noah after the flood was this: "Never will it be, never should you doubt that it might be, that punishment is a thing I do for punishment’s sake; as an ending; as the final stroke of My will; for My Glory alone. It isn’t. That is not the nature of My wrath anymore than it is the nature of My mercy. My wrath is not for the glory of justice in itself. For that would not be Just. My wrath is only for education; for learning; for betterment; for healing; for salvation; for bringing you out of death to Life; for bringing you out of anything else, including yourself, to Me. I will rain down, I will rain and rain and rain, I will flood every possible corner of your life, to the very point of complete destruction, if that is what it takes for you to look and live; to see My love."
A rainbow is a thing that—like the hope it represents—because it is seen for only a moment, seems only to exist for a moment. But this is exactly not the case. Because it is seen at all, even if for only a moment, a rainbow reveals what is always there, only waiting to be revealed by rain. A rainbow reveals the light. Every part of it, every wave a color of the visible world.
I think my brother in Christ and flesh was very onto something with an idea that hope emerges along with, or as a result of, collision. In his own facing-the-mirror story—which, after much reflection last night and today, I have possibly pin-pointed as the moment of my own authentic birth of hope—there is a collision with self; a confrontation with self. Maybe the first true confrontation. Not merely of self with self. But of self with something else. Of self with the soul. Which forces a man to consider that hisself and his soul are not the same things. To see himself, not reflected, but trapped in the mirror; to see himself from the outside through the heart-eyes of his soul. To speak to himself from the outside, from that inner soul, to ears that must needs hear. And the message from the soul, repeated aloud in the form of a question by the self whose mouth speaks for the first time, to ears that hear for the first time is: “What if everything is my fault? What if everything I do is wrong?” And the soul begins to assume the position of master; and the self the position of the fool. There is a trading of places and the two are severed from each other because the truth was spoken by one and heard by the other. Known by one, not by the other.
And hope enters at the split. At the collision. At the annihilation. It is the first glow of the lone redeemer in the dust. For if everything I do is wrong, and yet something exists outside myself within me to tell myself this true thing; then it might be true that outside myself and my wrongness—rightness may exist in just about anything else. And if in my wrongness I despaired the goodness of God, then His Goodness might be waiting just outside, at the deep center of all things.
These two ideas are together. They can not be separated. One is the love of the other. The love of work is rest and the love of rest is work. The goal of rest is work and the goal of work is rest. The opposite of rest is not unrest. That is its negation. That is the abnegated, Christless, anxious, and exhausting world in which we live. That is the restless work of the dying world. The opposite of work is not laziness, that is its negation. That is the Fatherless, hungry, bored, and purposeless spinning of this world.
To finish work is to rest.
Jesus was sent to finish the work of his father. Jesus was sent to bring rest. Rest through obedience to the Father. Obedience which finishes His creation in man.
Only when the creation is good, is the work of the creator done. Until that day, work must go on. The Son finishes the work his Father started and continues to start. “My Father works unto this very day.” The perfection of creation was the seventh day. Then the perfect work of creation was corrupted by the rejection of the Father’s hand at the essential moment of love by the closed-fist of his child’s will. The same will—but emptied out and open, and given to Christ, which is but the receiving of that light yoke of obedence—which will perfect it again. The work of Christ is to finish the work of God, “so that the sower and reaper may be glad together.”
(John 4:32-38, 5:17)
Rationality of man: Do what keeps you from dying.
Rationality of Jesus: Die to what keeps you from doing.
Awakening into consciousness is to ask. To ask why.
Rather than to be.
It is to separate. It is separateness.
The central location of being is will.
At the center of existence is will. At the center of paradise is the oneness of two wills: the vine and branches of the tree of life. To lay oneself finally and utterly down in the shade of the Living Tree, finally willing to die to death, die to the poisonous fruit of knowledge, is to be resorbed into its roots, to ascend the capillaries of its vines and branches, to stretch out, to bud, to leaf, to flower and fruit, to live again and adorn the garden of God within the canopy of His grace, to transform from children of God into sons of God. To become princes and kings and heirs of Eden. Not merely to be loved by the Father, but through the cross of will, to love like the Father loves. To have the heart of the Father.
At the center is a voice; is a presence as broad and high as daylight. Yet there is another voice, another presence, as narrow and specific as an equation. As black and quick as a garret. That voice says, “Not Thy will, but mine!”
And even though that snake will always strike our heel, we may yet always crush his head.
George MacDonald has no difficulty finding the trapdoor at the bottom of your intellect. He opens it and walks into a darkness you never knew existed. He goes down into the blackness as a matter of course, as if simply going home. Each step, not hesitant and inching, but familiar of the way. His voice, an un-wavering torch. No change in pitch or pace, steady in its joys and sorrows as he descends to his work far below you. He walks easily from this dimness to that utter darkness—for his light is God’s light, and is bright enough for all. And he is unashamed of any place where light may shine.
I am floored by several passages, and in this one he builds to a crescendo at his description of God’s prison. And my thought was, “I know that place.”
“Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?”
My cup runneth over…
Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life…for thine is the kingdom and the glory forever and ever. Amen
When Cleopus’ eyes were opened by the breaking of bread and the sharing of it, Christ disappeared from Cleopas’ sight and entered his burning heart.
As if Christ had said, “Now that you have seen what you needed to see; now that your eyes have opened to what your burning heart already knew; you know where I am and how to find me.
I must go. If I do not go, you will not look for me. And you must always look for me; only then will you always find me.”
Jesus did not come that we may have answers--but that we may have life, and have it abundantly.
Any answer, even if explained by Christ himself, would not aid our essential need one jot. Our need is life. More of it. Our need is Christ himself. Our need is the Father who gives life. Who is life.
An answer can not be abundant. Once given, more of it can only be redundant. An answer is a cessation. An ending. A nullification. A balance. But not Christ—not Life. Life is abundant. More life is abundant life. It has no end, the highest it goes, is higher than the highest heavens.