Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Blog # 84 JESUS NOW
BLOG # 84 JESUS NOW Long ago and far away. Those words seem rather innocent, and yet in religion they are some of the most dangerous. "Long ago and far away" are words of joy when spoken of the measles back in Brooklyn seventy six years ago. Long ago and far away. Thanks be to God! Jesus. Jerusalem. Long ago and far away. There is the danger! The RISEN Jesus is the timeless man, and Jerusalem is the world. We do not know Him if we do not know Him PERSONALLY here and now. For Christian people, wherever there is praise and thanksgiving to the Father, wherever there is forgiveness , wherever there is true fellowship and brotherhood, wherever there is hope for eternal life, there is the presence of Jesus living among us by His Spirit, blessing us with joy and giving us strength. By faith Jesus steps out of history and lives with us today. He calls us to the newness and development of tomorrow. Faith is knowledge. But the knowledge of faith must be received, handed down, given. "...faith comes by hearing..." ( Rom 10: 17). We need a witness, someone who speaks to us and reveals to us something that otherwise we would not know. Jesus in the prime witness to the Father's life and love. Jesus knew the Father by experience and He became a witness to the Father by His life and words. Jesus testified that the Father loves all people and wants all to be happy forever. Christians down through the ages have gone to all corners of the world sharng the knowledge they had by faith of the message of Jesus. Jesus Himself was in California when Junipero Serra limped through desert heat telling the people of the Father's love and they were brothers and sisters in Jesus. "I am with you always..." One night many years ago, while I was driving home from visiting a very poor family in rural Georgia the thought occurred to me: "you say God loves all people and wants us to be happy. What does that mean to those four small children whose father is too sick to hold down a job and whose mother is retarded?" The trip home was 38 miles, several of them over dirt roads. I had an hour to stuggle with the answer to that question. Before I parked the car in front of the church I was well aware of the danger and betrayal in regarding Jesus as a person who lived in the "long ago and far away". It is His will that we be for one another His living presence, His energy,consolation, and love. When I went back and forth to encourage and help that family grow lettuce and vegetables for a balanced diet, brought them food and clothing, helped return a used TV they had bought for a house that did not have electricity, and assisted in finding a job for the father, it was really Jesus doing all of his in the here and now. May your heart and mine be ever faithful kind and generous enough to make Jesus present in our everyday experience of life.