Monday, August 29, 2011

The Problem is Me

Leave it mankind to screw things up. God creates a beautiful lush paradise, leaves a couple of simple directions and we screw it up. Adam had already accomplished the complicated stuff, he named all the living creatures. He was the original zoo-keeper. That job he could handle. The hands-off the tree job he is pretty lousy at. It was the same way with Jesus. He told us to be like a little child in our faith and love for him and his Dad. He wanted us to love our neighbors and love Him. Not much of a great expansion on that great theological nugget.

Love for God and neighbor was to be the litmus test of knowing Jesus. John tells it pretty clear in his gospel, people receiving Jesus get to be part of his family, adopted into the family of God with Jesus as a brother and God the father as their, Abba, daddy. The love of Jesus would fill the life of his brothers and sisters and everybody around them would know they are different, because of Jesus.

Jesus knew that we would try and muck things up so He even left us some easy to understand instructions. He told us to stay close, abide, in his love and presence. Stay close by praying a lot and reading about his life and love. Remember to K.I.S.S. keep it simply simple. I changed it. He demonstrated some really important lessons, forgiving, loving, sacrfice, faith, friendship, and a bunch more. Just before his death he gave us the greatest demonstration about love and light.

As the men he loved gathered around him for some food and to remember the passover, he took off his cloak and washed their feet. Now, how hard is that to understand? Serve the people around you, that will show to everybody that your love is not just a bunch of empty words, but real action with dirty feet. While he was being executed he forgave his killers and in words of a seemingly crazy kind of love, told a criminal he would be in Paradise with him.

After the resurrection Jesus continued to show in very simplistic ways his love and care. Well, simplistic in a couple of ways. I guess he may have scared the hell out of Thomas. Most of the time he talked with them and grilled fish on the beach. When he left them and returned to some place in the universe, anybody know where heaven is, he gave them final words of comfort. He told them, and us, that he would be with us until the end of the age.

We have all heard it said, "When the cat is away the mice will play". I hope this isn't offensive but, When Jesus went away people began to stray. The book of Acts gives us a pretty good record of the early church. The center of activity was in Jerusalem, as Jesus told the disciples to wait there for a while. He told them that God was really going to get their lights shining when the Holy Spirit invaded their spirit. Well, the impatient and the patient alike waited until, fire broke out and a wind blew through the house. About 120 men and women who loved Jesus started glowing.

The glowing Jesus followers began telling all of their friends and neighbors about their own life-change and what loving Jesus would do for them. Soon, all the streets of Jerusalem were filled with glowing Jesus lovers. So much so, the leaders of the Jewish Starched Shirts, proclaimed that the entire city was being over-run with glowing Jesus people. It didn't take long for the love of Jesus to begin invading foreign lands. Gentile people and pagans began listening to the words of the glowing Jesus people and soon they were glowing.

Now, some of the original glowing Jesus people didn't think it was right for the gentiles and pagans to be able to glow with Jesus. In their minds Jesus was only supposed to let Moses' people glow. After all, they were special people, God even told them so. Now, with their glow running low, they complained to the big glowers, Peter and his friends. The running low on their glow folks demanded that the gentiles and pagans face the flint knife and follow some rules that they had too, told to by the big Starched Shirts. Rules would be laid down for future glowing people.

More problems to come. Love your comments.

1 comment:

  1. Cracked up when I read, "with their glow running low." I pray that my glow doesn't run low!