Moving right along in reference to the last post, you might be wondering why being past dead was/is such a priority message. Since writing it we have been soaking some in the New Testament scriptures, in doing so it was impossible not to see once again the many warnings in connection with sexual immorality.
In that connection being past dead, is essential. A danger in leaving the subject too soon is to leave a wrong impression in connection with how powerful the Love of God, that is the inheritance of the saints is, even in relationships with each other that are God’s doing.
This is not about the passion of the “church lady” from Saturday Night Live, or liturgical hugs in the context of “going to church.” No, this is about the Passion of the Christ lived out as an “Army With Banners,” Song of Songs 6:10, among the saints without regard to the flesh – (gender).
As I thought about the need to touch upon this more positive, and rewarding side of relationships that come from God, I suddenly recalled, “How Do I Love Thee, Let Me Count the Ways…”
How Do I Love Thee? How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight For the ends of being and ideal grace. I love thee to the level of every day's Most quiet need, by sun and candle-light. I love thee freely, as men strive for right. I love thee purely, as they turn from praise. I love thee with the passion put to use In my old griefs, and with my childhood's faith. I love thee with a love I seemed to lose With my lost saints. I love thee with the breath, Smiles, tears, of all my life; and, if God choose, I shall but love thee better after death. By Elizabeth Barrett Browning
As I thought about being past dead, I could easily have left two wrong or inadequate impressions. One is to ignore the passionate side of the equation. On the one hand, yes, we need to be “past dead,” but on the other side of the transaction is “The Passion of The Christ.” The Love of Christ is clearly so very much more than just a doctrine, and this applies to the beating of our hearts on the spiritual side as much as it applies to the beating of His Heart. We are commanded to love one another as He loved, and loves us!
When this treasure of His passion finds a home in our broken vessel it is a lot to take in, and a lot to carry for, and to others. It is just here that it is so important to be past dead to the lusts of the flesh. It is so powerful that earthen vessels can easily get in trouble when containing His Love for another person on the horizontal. This applies to all parties to spiritual relationships, as understood in context of family, Mark 10:29-30.
I’m sure there is more that needs to be shared about this, but perhaps that’s enough to leave it there for the moment.
While I am here in the presence of the Browning poem, I need to correct an impression I may have left, and I know I have stated flat out in the past, and that is that, viewed from one, even a very Biblical one, “eternity could be understood to be an eternal orgasm.”
Where that impression is concerned, especially in the context of a woman being the comfort zone of Christ, I may have left an impression that was too breathlessly intimate. There is a rest in intimacy, and that rest is part of the comfort, fulfillment, even ongoing satisfaction of staying connected in the Spirit. In short it isn’t all heavy breathing and heart pounding sensation. Part of it is the after glow that follows, which can and does lead to the next experience of the passion. In short, it is all part of the passion, no part of which is less important or rewarding than the other.