There are many ways to walk and talk with God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. I really do sense a different relationship with this three-part entity that is one triune God. And the way we live our lives out loud manifests our walk, this relationship in its truest form.
Yet I find in all of my praying and conversations with God and Jesus, one of the biggest and most vital aspects of my relationship comes in the LISTENING — the quiet daily meditation with the Holy Spirit in the word of God. It’s active, it’s living, it’s breathing… And it’s what keeps me doing the same.
What I also find so deeply interesting, lovely, beautiful, and all at once gut punching, attitude checking and ‘in my face’, if you will — is that no matter how many times I read the Bible — books, chapters, verses can jump off the page and into my present circumstances with this “AHAA!!!” force that gives them such intense power where they had but so little notice before. How did I miss that?!?!?!?!? Sometimes they all but scream at me. Other times they wrap around me like a soft, comforting blanket. And sometimes they slap me upside the head — yes, they really do. God’s word isn’t static in our lives. He speaks here — and his voice isn’t monotone for this daughter 😉 . This is my life food — and sometimes, it doesn’t taste so good (as my G says, kind of like kale) — but I need it regardless. And isn’t it absolutely awesome that we serve a God that always knows what we need — before we even ask — even if we don’t know exactly what that need is ourselves (um, that’s me most of the time — if not always…). We may often wander, but we’re never lost… We’re always held. Always.
So reading along with my brother, John (on those rough days — just read the entire gospel — read.it.all ❤ ) — and this one little verse completely broke me this morning over coffee. Like shake-y, tears broken and sobbing. I’ve read it a hundred thousand times and yet it leapt off the page and cut my heart wide open. Jesus is sentenced to be crucified. Pilate just wants nothing to do with this mess. But the Jews are relentless. They want this Jesus guy dead.
“The Jews insisted, ‘We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.'”
“We have a law…”
It struck me so vehemently this morning! Christ died by the LAW. This VERY law that we so righteously persecute and judge one another by. Yet God struck.it.down — completely abolished it — and what did He do? He rose up love instead. Wow. Tears. I.mean.really! In God’s LOUDEST and BIGGEST voice with his most VIVID and AMAZING miracle — he chose to defeat the entirety of it. This very massive, binding, so much of it man-made (what parts are actually of God and what parts are social constructs of man?), and ‘so many facets to it, who can really keep track and retain holiness?’ law that crucified his own son. And this law demanded a sacrifice. And yes, I get it — He didn’t HAVE to — we could have all just been held to it, responsible to it, bound to it –just as the Jews demanded of Jesus and INSISTED that he must die because of all of it’s rules and regulations… (I mean, the guy said he was the Son of God, how much more AGGREGIOUS can you get?)
But.He.didn’t. And THAT’S what makes it EVEN MORE insanely awesome and amazing (I use that word so often, I know — but.come.on — it just is 🙂 !!!). I think that’s what we call GRACE, right? Jesus died for the law, God’s miracle resurrection shook the earth, and what happened? LOVE WON. And holy hallelujah!!! If that’s good enough for God? Yeah, that’s good enough for me… Love breaks through. The Holy Spirit comes to us. And yes, I’m still crying over my coffee. My heart hasn’t recovered yet from exploding.
“Tetelestai” — “It is finished.”
So let’s get on out there and love on each other, okay? Let’s leave the judging up to the one who gave us all grace when we sure as hell didn’t deserve it. Any of it. I don’t feel too far removed from the Jews some days. I don’t look at those verses and think, “oh my goodness, how COULD they?”. Humbly I ask myself, “How could I?” Been there, so have done that… It’s quite ugly. Gut check. Heart check.
And could John speak to LOVE any more than he does in his gospel? Let me rephrase that — could JESUS speak to love any more than he does in John? No, no he could not. Our central purpose — love. So, let’s get to it. In fact, it’s how they will KNOW us. Not by this law business. By this love thing we do.
“A new command I give you: LOVE one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
John 13:34, 35
A new command. Jesus was shaking things up, wasn’t he? Hey guys, I know you have all these rules and laws and stuff — but this, THIS is what I want you to do — this is how people will KNOW YOU ARE MINE.
Wow, to be known for our love. What a mighty calling. Not easy. Not fluffy. Tenacious as all get out. Because who comes last? Me. I SO have to get over myself. Each.and.every.day.
And I’m pretty sure the rest of this Christianity business follows. In fact, I KNOW it does. Get on in there and read. Let him breathe it all over you. Love comes first. ❤
In the mean time, the boys are up, and our day is starting — more coffee and breakfast for these miracles I am blessed to call my sons. My prayer for today and everyday?
Fill me up, Lord. I want to be ready to love like you…
And more coffee… 😉