Monday, March 26, 2007
Luke 1:35, Hebrews 10:10
The holy one to be born will be called the Son of God.
And we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
In just a few days we will celebrate Jesus' resurrection again. Every year the parties for first his birth, and then his resurrection are separated by just three or four months. The stories of his life are compressed into four short books of the Bible. So much happens so quickly. Time can't contain it.
Do these words from the angel and the writer of Hebrews point to God inhabiting earth, or to a holy man leading the way for us? Christians claim Jesus is God - not a holy man. And then they further claim that Jesus' life and death and resurrection allow me to "be made holy."
Father Michael Casey (Fully Human, Fully Divine) puts it interestingly: "We need the divine boldness to affirm that Christianity is not a matter of being good but of becoming God." Jesus leads the way for us into new creation. When I follow I am surrendering my ego to his grace. Death is followed by new life.
In church this morning Pam Larson quoted Mark Galli. Taking a cue from Scott Peck's The Road Less Traveled, Galli begins his book Jesus Mean and Wild: "God loves you and has a difficult plan for your life. If God really, really loves you, then he has a really, really difficult plan for your life."
I underestimate daily the requirements of holiness. I settle for cheap grace too often, rather than biting on bullets and becoming the different person into whom Jesus leads me. But as the years pass, because of God's faithfulness I do discover more of the joy of loyalty to Jesus, humility before Jesus, and surrender to Jesus.
There seem to be deep places inside me that are getting younger and more joyful. Since my body's going the other direction, that's a good thing!
Lord, you have me in the palm of your hand. Nothing can snatch me out. I am safe with you. And you show me how to live.