How to live “Christian”…

Good Sam GlassIf you have read much of my writing, you know that I have realized that for me, in my conscience, “sin” has acquired a fairly simple definition. “I ‘sin’ when I treat any sacred person or object, as less than sacred.”

Well, while reading through the tale of Paul/Saul’s conversion on the road to Damascus, God stopped me dead in my tracks at the words, “a very bright light suddenly flashed from heaven all around me, and I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’And I answered, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said to me, ‘I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.’“ (Acts 22:6b-8)

And I tried to move on, and the Lord stopped me time and again… “No, Little Monk, you missed it… look again.” And so I did, over and over. Until finally the words began to light up for me… “persecuting ME“… I am Jesus the Nazarene, whom you are persecuting.”

It struck me how very strange… how wrong… this seemed. Wait… Jesus was already ascended. Saul never saw Him. Never spoke with Him. Never persecuted Him. Saul was persecuting FOLLOWERS, BELIEVERS… Saul was persecuting what we like to think of as “The Church”, an institution… a corporate entity…

No,” Jesus replied. “He WASN’T… He was persecuting PEOPLE. He THOUGHT he was attacking an institution, a corporation, a movement… he called it ‘The Way’… but he was helping arrest, try, convict, condemn, and execute PEOPLE. He killed them, trying time and time again, to kill ME.”

That was the breathtaking, heart stopping, realization here. “Me”… Jesus… King… Lord… not THEM… not Church… not movement… not follower… not even “precious child”… but “Me”.

If that were true…

If that’s what Jesus really meant in His cry to Saul…

If Jesus meant… JESUS… in Saul’s attacks…

Then… then…

Did that mean that when I offend another… when I attack them… when I injure them… when I belittle, or demean, or judge them… that it is not only THEM I hurt, but JESUS?

This was not a happy thought. I did not like this thought. I sought to push away this thought… and rather than help me with this, Jesus instead just “piled on,” reminding me of Matthew 25:31-46… that whole “Sheep-Goats-Judgment” thing, reminding me, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”

Do you see it? Do you see it too?

Now, Jesus never EVER whines to or at me. But sometimes, not often, but sometimes from time to rare time, His voice will tend rather to ‘yodel’ with excitement or frustration, when He says something like, “WHY, Little Monk! Why don’t they see, why won’t they hear? I am PERFECTLY clear here… but even YOU are only now starting to see My words, that are and were perfectly clear for centuries. I am NOT being ‘figurative’ or ‘poetic’! I am not exaggerating… I am THERE… IN THEM… and yes, when you hurt or wound any, with your actions, attitudes, silence, or words… yes, you wound ME! Any questions?”

“Nossir. No questions. I need to process this for a bit, though, if that’s ok.”

“Sure thing, Little Monk. You process away!”

6 thoughts on “How to live “Christian”…

  1. Ugh. Ugh. Ugh. I am processing, well, that’s my excuse. LOL Thank you LM. I needed to hear this – Ugh. And it’s a very good thing to hear…….however painful to my flesh. 🙂
    cate

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good insight, I think that’s something we all forget from time to time. Every so often I read in the Philokalia that when we insult/make fun of/put down another we do so to God for we are *all* made in His image. I read it, it sinks in, but after a few weeks it is gone again.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah… I think you highlight the critical element with your phrase, “made in His image”. I think we can all nod, but get over treating “an image of Him” as “less than sacred”. I mean, after all, that’s just a “representation” of Him… not Him, Himself. We can get over that hurdle pretty well. Paul/Saul had Genesis… he knew, and got past, the problem of “persecuting an image” of God.

      The part that just stunned me, and I think stunned Saul/Paul, was that Jesus used/uses no such modifiers, qualifiers, filters, moderators… here. Just like in Matthew 25… He doesn’t/didn’t say “those I’m deeply involved with”, or “those who represent Me”, or “those who worship Me”, or even “those made in My image”… His words were/are vastly simpler than that… the word is “Me”.

      And if we recognize that life, human life, is a divine mystery that still eludes the technological reach of science and reason… When we realize that God doesn’t just “turn over the starter, wind us up, and send us on our merry way through time in our journey of life”… but that rather, He Himself “breathes our breaths, beats our hearts, vibrates the very atoms of the cells of our being” as an inseparable part of His nature as love, Father, upholding all things (present tense) in the Word of His power…

      When we recognize that NO life can be separated from the divine identity of God, or it would simply cease to exist…

      It’s a lot harder just to “blow by” the reality that when we touch another… ANY other… we touch not only them, but Him Himself.

      Grace to you — LM

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Whoa. Just read this. Yes, this definitely erases all forms of doubt or debate. It helps us to see “others” – other believers, our neighbors, and hopefully our enemies – not simply as God-created humans, but as Jesus himself, in the flesh. HUGE distinction.

    Mind blown.

    Liked by 1 person

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