Sunday, February 22, 2009

if i stood before you

This morning in church i had a thought...
we were singing "Jesus Paid it All," which i love. and i was thinking about how powerfully i BELIEVE the lyrics to the song. and i just imagined what it would be to sing the song in the great throne room of heaven--the heat of His beauty, the room pulsing with his glory. and i would gather all who know me--all who have ever met me--the like-souls, the family, the "young" friends, the life-long friends. and, starting in a whisper: "Jesus paid it all, All to Him I owe; Sin had left a crimson stain, He washed it white as snow." growing louder: "For nothing good have I Whereby Thy grace to claim, I’ll wash my garments white In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb." until with a shout: "When from my dying bed, My ransomed soul shall rise, 'Jesus died my soul to save,' Shall rend the vaulted skies."

You know, there are a lot of religions in this world. A lot. and it blows my mind that so much has been "thought up" to believe. it's a trap, if we aren't careful. we could spend the rest of our lives determining what is false before settling in on what is true. i've been thinking about "christianity" as a religion. what is it in christianity that claims "truth" over and above all other religions? what is it about christianity--the Gospel message, more specifically--that demands adherence? Without getting into details and delights, I just want to reiterate my mom. I was talking with her about this on the phone a few days ago--expressing what I am feeling and experiencing about the beautiful gift of truth and faith, as well as its mystery. she said "Andrea, Christianity is about God come down. He has come. HAS COME. He has come to man--man doesn't blindly, hopefully, wander or earn his way to God." So I've been sitting on her words. I know there's a lot to over-simplify or over-complicate within Christianity. Believe me, i'm in Bible school :) But at the end of the day, I am astounded by the God-incarnate. And we don't want to believe it because its "impossible," but oh my word, HE CAME TO US. Who doesn't want this. Whose heart doesn't yearn and SCREAM for the heat of His beauty and the pulse of His glory that is love...that is grace...that is salvation. LIFE. Oh, let us LIVE.
Emmanuel. God with us.
I would argue that THE great scandal of Jesus is that He claims to be God. We can't believe in Jesus--love Jesus--and love the gods of this world. We can't. This is evident in "big" ways--can't love Jesus AND love Buddha or Mohammad or any other religious leader/prophet. This is also evident in little ways--can't love Jesus and love sin: deceitfulness, idolatry, selfishness, hatred.

I'm something close to dumbfounded as I realize what a ridiculously incredible gift grace is. can't even speak. I will say before all of you: "Hey, this man Jesus. He's completely changed my life. For eternity He has grafted me in and every day He changes me more."

What a life. What a life this is.

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