“WHEN I LOVE YOU, MY GOD, I WANT TO EMBRACE IT ALL, FOR I LOVE YOU WITH ALL MY SENSES IN THE CREATIONS OF YOUR LOVE. IN ALL THE THINGS THAT ENCOUNTER ME, YOU ARE WAITING FOR ME. FOR A LONG TIME I LOOKED FOR YOU WITHIN MYSELF AND CREPT INTO THE SHELL OF MY SOUL, SHIELDING MYSELF WITH AN ARMOR OF INAPPROACHABILITY. BUT YOU WERE OUTSIDE- OUTSIDE MYSELF-AND ENTICED ME OUT OF THE NARROWNESS OF MY HEART INTO THE BROAD PLACE OF LOVE FOR LIFE. SO I CAME OUT OF MYSELF AND FOUND MY SOUL IN MY SENSES, AND MY OWN SELF IN OTHERS.”
Jurgen Moltmann, The Source: The Holy Spirit and the Theology of Life. Fortress Press.1997.
When I read this book (and quote) I immediately realized the truth of what Moltmann says. It is only when I get outside of myself and place my heart, imagination, physical and cultural circumstance of another, that I “get it.” I have to mentally imagine or place myself with another person in order to sense what is needed. That is here and now. But what about then…2000 years ago? What about how the pre-Christian “small group” felt especially when Christ was crucified? What utter despair and loss of hope. Darkness. No life. No energy. No Jesus Christ. No continual reminder of God’s-Love-in-Action. Gentleness and Spirit intertwined.
Biblically speaking, the Holy Spirit was “Breathed” into the disciples when Jesus first appeared to them after the resurrection. Immediate Energy! Also, just imagine the joy that Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Jesus, and the disciples felt when they finally realized that their beloved messiah was “not dead” but alive! ( John 20: 1-23) How confusing that must have been! Confusing, overwhelming, exciting and challenging all at the same time. Their lives would never be the same ever again…….
I am reminded that I have to “get outside of myself” in order to follow Jesus Christ. It is a challenge to give up control. It is a challenge to consciously offer up my day to God. To the energy flow of the Holy Spirit. And to the gentleness of Jesus. We live in a tough world. One that expects “one upmanship.” A world that expects control. And sadly a world in which leaders are not always “servant leaders” but whose hearts are narrow. We all need to seek “the broad place of love for life” that God places before us in the faces of our neighbors and our world. Let us bring Easter home to our hearts and give of our resources and knowledge as well as our time and talents. It is both our delight and struggle and legacy all at the same time.
Blessings to you and your family and friends this EasterTide.
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