Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Christ in You / You in Christ, Part 1

Years ago, a friend asked me, partly in jest, “Am I in Christ, or is Christ in me?” I responded, “Yes!” because both are true. Many days, though, I toddle on thinking that I’m on my own to solve this problem or that question, and if I try hard enough or ask sincerely enough, I might get some help from the Lord. Why do I think like that? (And if you do, why do we both think that?) Please come with me and let’s look at this together. 

Jesus told us about how close he was with his Father, saying “I am in my Father, and my Father is in me” (John 14:11). That’s a description of belonging, inclusion, and intimacy that is much deeper than we are used to in human terms. But he also promised “In that day [referring to his resurrection, I believe] you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you” (v. 20). That means we are all invited into that same deep intimacy — something I think all human beings need, and that God created in us so we would respond to him as he draws us to himself. Since we believe in Jesus, that intimacy is already our reality, and the Holy Spirit encourages us to pursue it even more.

Do you know someone you would call a “saint”? Someone who just oozes the love of Jesus to people all around them, who shows the fruit of the Holy Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control), and whom others love to be around? A person who is like this, has blossomed into a more deep awareness of that Jesus-relationship described above — and Jesus is shining out through him or her. This is a person who is aware of their own weaknesses, and who invites the Holy Spirit into their thinking and emotions, to fill in all the human cracks and holes we all have and to make the person whole, spiritually and personally. Jesus has invited all of us, not some select few (like the monks in the Middle Ages) into that same wonderful life of joy and love! By surrendering everything — not just the convenient parts of ourselves, or the ones we are willing to let others know about — we invite God’s healing presence and grace to permeate us.

Jesus is not a "truth proposition” to be argued, nor is life 'in him' something to be examined on a laboratory table. He is to be experienced, as we would any person we come to know. And as we pursue our intimacy with him, day by day, the presence of Jesus moves into more and more of our ‘cracks and holes,’ replacing them with himself. As we are more aware of Jesus, and feel him move in us, motivating us to love when we don’t want to, give when we’re too stingy, and forgive when we are angry, we live “in him” also. It’s a journey, and we’ll look at more of it next week. And maybe for awhile longer, because it’s a big topic!

No comments:

Post a Comment