Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Judas at jesus' table

I am into the second "phase" of Jen Hatmaker's book 'Interrupted: When Jesus Wrecks Your Comfortable Christianity.' She is right in that this idea of becoming more and more like Christ is some difficult business.

On pp. 62-63 is this gem of a picture of Jesus' bewilderingly beautiful way:
This is what God taught me through Judas at Jesus' table, eating the broken bread that was His body: We don't get to opt out of living on mission because we might not be appreciated. We're not allowed to neglect the oppressed because we have reservations about their discernment. We cannot deny love because it might be despised or misunderstood. We can't withhold social relief because we're not convinced it will be perfectly managed. We can't project our advantaged perspective onto struggling people and expect results available only to the privileged... Most of us know nothing, nothing of the struggles of the poor. We erroneously think ourselves superior, and it is a wonder God would use us at all to minister to His beloved.

Jesus came to the foulest, filthiest place possible (earth), a place full of ungrateful, self-destructive people who would betray Him far more than they'd love Him (a whole planet of Judases). He broke His body for rich people who would curse Him the second their prosperity was endangered. He poured His blood out for those who would take His Word and use it as a bludgeoning tool. He became the offering for people who would slander His name with ferocity, yet His grace was theirs for the asking until they drew their last breaths, even if all they could offer Him was a lifetime of hatred and one moment of repentance.

Whew... yeah... amazing.

Jen continues on the next couple pages...
"Our holy Savior advised us well (Mt. 13): ...We are only qualified to administer mercy, not judgment, because we will pull up many a beautiful stalk of wheat, imagining him a weed."

And interesting thing about this book is that every now and then the author's husband (Brandon) chimes in. He was pastoring in the church, yet it was his wife whom God first started moving/braking in this direction. His contribution to this section that I underlined was:
"I listed how many things I did for others where I benefited nothing; the list was terribly small."

Yep, mine too. Would that I could learn to love people not for what they do for me, but as the beautiful creation they are; that I could do things not in an attempt to gain, but for no reason other than the great grace I have received myself. It seems almost impossible... which, I guess it is, for me.