As the days dwindle down to a precious few, and now just hours remain before a rather unique and problematic surgery, I find myself daily recalculating the days of my life. These days have been so full, and, so far from the learning curve going flat, it seems to only get closer and closer to vertical. Not only in physics and engineering is this called an exponential curve, but also in history and in life. See Matthew 24, for instance, as an example of exponential discourse.
As I have already noted elsewhere, “the day Jesus died, He had the best view on the hill.” One of the things He saw, and noted, was a preview of how life would be when He returned in and by His Spirit living in the lives of His followers. How must it have seemed to those who may have heard Him say to His Mother in reference to John, who was standing right there near to her, “Behold your son,” and to John, “behold your mother”?
Perhaps they were the only ones to hear. In any case John took her home to live with him. As likely as not this was one of those new realities that His disciples were not yet ready to hear about at the Last Supper. Indeed, “believers” in our own day are still not ready to hear or see such things. For me, however, this is at the heart of the message that I have heard from the beginning. The resistance to this message is right out of the pits of hell. At the very least, it is the result of the priorities of “flesh.”
There is so much that needs to be said about this, and perhaps it had to wait for a day and time when I no longer had anything to lose.
One of the points to be made is the part about having this mind in us that doesn’t think equality with God as a thing to be grasped, but lets go of more than any other has ever had a right to cling to, and humbles Himself. This must certainly apply to married couples as well.
Do we have certain rights in connection with our spouses’ body belonging to us? Yes, but not so far as clinging to one another in such a way that they are no longer controlled by Christ. Except for covering the expediency of our problem with burning, we must release one another to belong to The Lord, and those He gives to us, and we to them. Given the need to take care of our own in the economy of the old creation, that is the extent of it.
Where personal and conversational time with these others who are ours in Spiritual relationship, these are privileged conversations subject to the parties to those conversations. It’s very strange and even suspect. That this is a matter of course where paid pastoral ministry is concerned, but seen as so unacceptable where the more authentic Spiritual pastoral ministry is concerned. This should not be as it fosters the artificial at the expense of the authentic. We should not have to become merchants to function in The Body of Christ. This too is counterfeit.
The sum total of this message, in it’s expression in the earth is the Church. Anything else is a cheap imitation of the intention of Jesus. This is not something for us to do, but rather something for us to see. Clearly at this time and condition of my life, I have no thought or intention of leading disciples away after myself. My heart is simply that those with ears to hear, and eyes to see, come into an awareness of their inheritance in Christ in this present age.
I have spiritual, brothers, sisters, sons and daughters around the world. My spiritual Fathers have already gone on to be with the Lord. In these days I have been immersed in God’s love lavished on me by my wife, Carleen, and a couple of Spiritual Daughters. Pam has been with us through most of these days, and has done most of the driving once again getting us back here to Bethesda, MD.
While addressing this aspect of our relational inheritance right there at the foot of the cross, this was even before Pentecost. At that point they were likely the only two who could hear and receive that truth. Even after Pentecost the early believers, including the apostles, had no clue about the nature of not knowing each other according to the flesh. The were still very much “rich and poor,” “Jew and Gentile,” and “male and female.” It remained for Paul to come along and make these spiritual and relational break-throughs.
This is not to say, however, that Paul came to see and appreciate all that Jesus was talking about at the Last Supper when He told those disciples who knew the Lord before he did, that there was still much that He had to say to them, but that they were not yet ready to hear it.
By now, the hour is late, the day far spent, and past time for those of us who name the name of Christ, to get it, and stop living in this bankrupt imitation of the new creation that Christ intended.
This ongoing preoccupation with the flesh is anything but what Jesus prayed for, “on earth as it is in heaven.”
God help us to get over ourselves in all our preoccupations with the flesh, which has us so crippled from living the kind of relational life that was designed in the purposes of God to be the light of the world.