Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Logic of Jesus


In today's reading from the Coptic Lectionary (Jn. 15-end; 16:1-15), we see the logic of Jesus. In a tone that is calm, and which endeavors to steady the disciples' wobbly emotional ship, the Lord prepares them for their coming struggle.
But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me. And you also will bear witness, because you have been with Me from the beginning.
The one who has truly been with Jesus, has experienced His love, His person, cannot but witness Him. "B" logically follows from "A"
These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.
I recently ran a very, very rocky, technical trail race. I stumbled and fell all over the place. I all but fell on my face (I did fall to my knees at least twice). Why? I was not trained. I did not have miles and miles of even simple trail running under my feet. Jesus has given us his words that they might live in us and that we might not stumble. A life of daily and deep meditation on Jesus' words and their meaning to us, will steady us along life's rocky trails.
...And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.
What, at root, is the reason people, even religious people, do terrible, nasty, backhanded things? Jesus submits to us that, deep down it is because they do not know Him, nor the Father. A person who truly has Christ within her, will not do sneaky, evil, underhanded things. Whenever, I see a "mean people suck" bumper sticker, I have to wonder at the person's frustration. It seems to stem from a kind of hippie, humanistic expectation that people can and should be "nice" and that those who fail to do so are "mean" and they "suck." The Christian is not surprised by the reality of mean people. It is expected. Christianity is a sober view of the real world.
But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.
When the rocky stretch comes, we'll have something to reach back and remember.
And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you...But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.
As in any relationship, the beginning is courtship and warmth. But, as you really get to live with someone, you need to hear more of the real stuff: "This is what it means to live with me. You need to know that..." "Come follow Me" becomes "And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple."

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