Thursday, 26 January 2017

 One For The Haters

(and the rest of us)

There had always been a numbing down of truth, to make things palatable, easier to understand, leaving us with a simplification of the act and the truth of all it really means. It was not just an act, it was a hundred things, individually, simultaneously and unified by the one act.
Until after so many different retellings it was mere news, of moderate significance to an ever changing border of who acceptable people were, and who we might exclude to make ourselves feel better.
I will never forget the sternness of the man who spoke earnestly, leaning over the dinner table as he lectured, my mind adding to his rich words as I sort to understand the fullness and passion of what he was speaking about, an idea I never knew I had not fully grasped, and now understand fully that I never will.
There is no love, to exist or ever have existed, that would have a loving father sacrifice the son he loves most dearly and is most pleased with, in a way that calls into question his rightful title as king as he is treated likewise among criminals, to save generations of every person who has or will ever walk the earth. People, who hate, despise, blame or will never even know his name.
There is no love, matching or equal, to one who sacrifices such for people who hate him.
None of this, to a well-seasoned person of faith is really new information; we are told it was news for all people. But how often do we simply sit to try and grasp that a man died for those who hated him and spat on him, and how great a sacrifice was that? Those who ridicule those of us of faith, who assume to know us and what we believe don’t know what a call to arms we have been served, the example set before us. That this was good news of great joy for all people.
This knowledge is not a measuring stick of how well we stack up against the example set before us, because to understand anything of this is to understand that we will never match up. To understand this is to put the most devout, hardworking Christians on the same level as the haters.
It is sin that separates us from God. Sin is not necessarily an act from a list of bad things, but rather any time that we fall short of the glory of God. If my aim is to jump a puddle and I miss I have not done a wrong thing in jumping, but that does not mean I haven’t fallen short of the edge of the puddle, and no matter how much I claim to love the rain I become as wet as someone who hates the rain, we are equal in the misery of falling short, but equally able to accept help and try again, and sometimes follow the wise advice to not jump puddles too big for us.
No matter how many times we fall short, no matter our previous stance on the act of Jesus there is no condemnation or shame or anger that truly separates any of us, there are no rungs on a ladder of who is a more adequate recipient, and I, even now, find myself at a complete loss of words that I am forgiven every time, that I am freely loved over and over. And I am no better than anyone else; I sit right beside the haters as an equal benefactor of this freewill gift. He was the one for those who loved him, one for those who needed him, and one for those who will hate him.

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