May 5, 2013
EASTER VI (C)
Whoever loves me will keep my word, & my Father will love him, & we will come to him & make our dwelling with him. – John 14: 23
New Testament writers tell us that we come of age as Christians by the power of the Holy Spirit. We are empowered to live our lives on the highest level. It is the power to make sense out of life, the power to love the world as Christ loved it & to make a difference in it. Our task is to move this reality from the head into the heart so that the Holy Spirit becomes real to us, in other words, our task is to use the power given to us.
It doesn’t take much power to join the chorus of negative talk these days about declining morality. It doesn’t take much power to condemn the world, but it does take power to redeem it. In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus gives these parting words to His disciples: “I am sending the promise of my father upon you; but stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high”(24: 49). In 1 Cor. Paul tells us that our faith does not rest “on human wisdom, but on the power of God.”(2: 5).
Self-seeking, jealousy, & divisiveness are all signs of immaturity in the Christian life. God’s wisdom, imparted through His Spirit, empowers us to build up the Church & through it the world around us. So Christian maturity, though focused on the otherworldly, has a direct bearing on personal morality, our marriage, our legal disputes, etc. It manifests itself in lives that are constructive rather than destructive.
When we concentrate on what’s wrong with us, there is always the danger that we will obscure what is right with us. In Gen. 1: 27 we are told that “God created man in His own image.” That is what’s right with us. Again, “God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power & love” (2 Tim. 1: 7). That is what’s right with us.
A little girl had been tucked in bed for the night, but a storm came up which frightened her & she couldn’t sleep. Suddenly, there was a loud clap of thunder & she screamed “Mommie, mommie, please come & stay with me.” Her mother called back, “Don’t worry, you are never really alone because God is with you always & He will take care of you.” The girl replied, “But mommie, I need a God with skin on!”
We all have that need. God knows we have that need. That is why He sent His Son. Didn’t Jesus say, “He who has seen me has seen the Father?” This means that we will know who God really is, & therefore who we really are, by looking at Him, following Him, & patterning our lives after His. We can see in Jesus the power of God we have been created to express, & He promises to give us the power to live it.
“You wander restlessly from forest to forest, when all the while the reality you are seeking is in your own dwelling. Go where you will … but until you have found God in your own soul, the whole world will mean nothing to you. The whole world will mean nothing to you until you find God in your own soul, the silent spring of the spirit within you welling up to eternal life.” – Rabindranath Tagore
The whole world will mean nothing to us until we have discovered how to love Him Who loved us & wants to make His dwelling place with us. Until that happens, we will remain restless, immature, & impotent in the most profound sense of those words. AMEN!