His divinity is kneaded in the clay of your humanity like one bread

Sunday, May 23, 2010

I'd like to buy a cross. Do you have one without that funny little man on it?

Today's post is not a paradox, but a witness to my King, my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. 

I don't know is any of your receive Pastor Greg Laurie's daily devotional via email.  If not, I recommend that you subscribe.  This man has walked through the fire of affliction and come out refined and he is all out, no holds barred, for God in Jesus Christ.  You can find his devotionals, blog, etc. through this site: http://www.harvest.org/

A few days back Pastor Greg sent through a short daily devotional where he mentioned the fact that the cross has lost its meaning for many people living today.  In some cases, it is no more than a fashion accessory, and people come to the jewelry counter asking for one without the 'funny little man' on it.

Let me tell you about that 'funny little man' from my perspective.  And yes, in some ways He is 'funny', though I would deny the term 'little' could ever apply to Jesus Christ.  When you get to about the dictionary's fifth definition of 'funny', it is 'curious, strange, peculiar, odd'.  Well, that certainly describes Jesus and His true followers so far as the world see them!

I Corinthians 3:18-19 says: "Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God."

How foolish to seek peace in a world torn with strife.  How foolish to believe that love believes all, hopes all, endures all.  How foolish to believe that suffering is a good thing, that putting one's self aside, that dying to one's self is a way to live?  How can we be free with all of those 'do and don'ts' God sets down?  How can there be a God when there is hatred and anger and violence and injustice?  How can mourning be turned in to dancing?  How can you have hope when the world is totally and completely hopeless?

How?  Through Jesus Christ.

Long ago man chose self over God, and every baby born since the day Adam and Eve did so and were driven from the garden, has been born in sin and to death.  I have one daughter and one granddaughter.  They are beautiful gifts from God, but it doesn't take any parent very long to realize the 'nature' born into these supposedly pure and innocent little children isn't innocent at all.  "That's mine, you can't have it!"  "I hit her because she hit me!"  "I want that, and I want it because I want it!"  "Give it to me now!!!!"

Innocent?  Hardly.

Fallen humanity begins life with the belief that they deserve everything, and that somehow, someway, everything they want is being denied them and it isn't fair.  I speak from experience here.  Though I have attended church dutifully and believed in God all of my life, I still spent most of it telling Him how unfair it all was and how I could obviously run it better.  I considered myself a 'good' girl.  I obey the Ten Commandments (or so I thought), I didn't smoke, drink, etc.  However, I did continually doubt, fear and stamp my feet (so to speak) declaring MY will was the one that should be obeyed.

God has spent the better part of 52 years humbling me until I can finally honestly say, "God, YOUR will not mine."

And that is when people begin to think you are 'funny'. 

That's okay, people thought my King was 'funny' too.  Jesus asked nothing for Himself.  He had no permanent home.  He walked the world to help others, to reach out to them, and to challenge them that what they wanted and were seeking was not God's way, but their own.  Jesus came to show them the true path to God and that's its' rewards were immeasurable.  But for anything that good, there is a price.  The price for God's salvation of fallen humanity was the life of His son and our belief in that death and Jesus' subsequent resurrection - and that His resurrection was for us, to wash us clean, to save us and to set us free from self and sin.

So if you know anyone who wears a cross as a decorative item, because they think it's cool, take a moment to point to it and ask them is they know 'the funny little man' who is missing from their cross -

And their lives.

Image from Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ

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