Thursday, March 20, 2014

Out of the miry clay

March 19, 2014

I am the LORD your God, the Holy One, your are precious and honored in My sight, and—I love you. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. Do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. I am the LORD your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.  Isaiah 41, 43

March 20, 2014

The curtain of the Temple sanctuary was split in two from top to the bottom. Mark 15:38

 So the big discussion at Desert these days is the living to trust God or to please God. And I have spent the past twelve hours mulling over Animal Farm and what do I want my kiddos to walk away with tucked into their hearts and minds. Beyond forty propaganda tools and parallels to the Russian Revolution and some nice challenging vocabulary words, I mean.

So today is going to begin with journaling. Which actually, they have grown to love. And sometimes kids just got to the back, grab their composition book and write. Just for the heck of it. But today, today I am thinking about Old Major and his last words before he died four days later: “Now, comrades, what is the nature of this life of ours? Let us face it: our lives are miserable, laborious, and short.”

Man is hopeless. He has no hope in himself. Not in democracy, the rule of the people. Not in fat capitalists, nor in skinny socialism nor silky plutocrats nor gun-clenching fascism. Not even in seven or ten commandments and religion and Sugarcandy Mountain, situated somewhere up in the sky, a little distance beyond the clouds. We can never be smart enough, strong enough, nice enough or good enough. 

And yet.

In the moment of Christ’s greatest weakness, as He let out a great cry, and died, in that moment, the curtain of the Temple sanctuary was split in two from top to bottom.

And hope entered the world.

And whatever else we might think about the Gospels and life and redemption from this brokenness, there is nothing about this final journey to Golgotha, the place of skull, that hints of a mankind solution to the problem of mankind. And in the midst of the hitting and spitting and mocking and hurling abuses He said nothing in His defense. 

But only, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.”

And this great incomprehensible love, so far out of my box of understanding, speaks to the issue of trust. Not so much in words, because words are too weak and finite. But in the quietness of my aching heart there is rest, and the darkness cannot overpower it.

By His own blood that he entered once and for all into the holy of holies, having won for us men eternal reconciliation with God. In this confidence let us hold on to the hope that we profess without the slightest hesitation—for He is utterly dependable—and let us think of one another and how we can encourage each other to love and do good deeds.