I want a refund

“O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Lk 24:25-26

God’s ways are not our ways, nor are God’s thoughts our thoughts. Which of us, in designing a Christ, would have him “suffer these things and enter into his glory?” We’re right there with the Apostles: “Is it now that you are going to restore the kingdom of Israel?” None of this arrest, interrogation, whipping, bullying, condemnation, carrying of the cross, crucifixion and death….all extraneous to our concept, our vision, our plan. This is, perhaps, why we are the “foolish ones…slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” Didn’t they mean what they said as hyperbole, exaggeration, visionary unrealities? You mean they really meant it…or if they didn’t know exactly what they wrote, the Spirit really meant it, foresaw it, and the Trinity preplanned it from all eternity. It’s that latter, that “preplanned from all eternity” that catches you off guard, brings you up short, makes you wonder… what kind of a God is God? Where is the warm, gentle, fuzzy God I know and love? Where did this God come from? I didn’t bargain for this type of God! I demand a refund!

“I am who I am. I can be no other. You can picture me anyway you want…but I do not change. I am goodness, I am love. This Christ is goodness, this Christ is love. I want only your greatest happiness and that of the whole world, of every man, woman and child that ever lived, are living or will live. That is why Christ suffered these things…for you, and you, and you. He had no need of suffering for Himself, for Me…He did it for you…so that you would know the Way, the Truth and the Life. So that you would know that all I want, all I ever wanted, is your happiness. What I can’t seem to get you to understand is that your happiness is not achieved by doing what you want but in doing what I want you to do…in being the best, the holiest, the most wonderful person you can be with my help. That’s what the prophets were saying, that’s what I have been saying all along. Come, come, come. Follow my Son…and you will find eternal life, eternal happiness, you will find Me.” Amen. Alleluia!!!

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Why The Subterfuge?

Then one of them, named Cleopas, answered him. Lk 24:18
Thank you, Luke, for doing your homework, for conducting interviews with extant witnesses, for weaving their eyewitness accounts into your Gospel under the influence and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. We, your 21st cent. Theophili, are truly thankful for your and the Spirit’s handiwork. His inspiration flows from it to us today.

Jesus, you are the consummate psychologist, the paradigm of teachers. You knew that if you had revealed yourself to Cleopas and his companion immediately, you would have lost the opportunity to show from Moses and the prophets why you had to suffer and die, that this was part of the Trinity’s plan from the beginning, in order to show by imitation of the Heavenly Processions the true way of the earthly one, humble, submissive to the Father in love, obedient to the Father in love. The exaltation of seeing you alive would have overwhelmed their minds and your exegesis, your teaching, would not have been able to be explicated so that they would remember and relate it to others. In their sadness, they were receptive to any explanation concerning their “prophet mighty in deed and word…the one who would redeem Israel.” Thus, as you explained each text, one after one, the love of the Lord was again enkindled in their hearts from the dying embers of their grief. You, indeed, did not quench the dying embers but fed them and encouraged them, en-couraged, gave them heart. Find us today, walk with us, enlighten us, show us your way, your truth and your life, so that my heart and the hearts of all who need and follow you will be burning within me. Amen, You are Risen!!! Alleluia!!!

Kevitching

They were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. Lk 24:17 “Talking.” Walking and talking. Walking away and talking. God does not call us to talk, bemoan, ruminate, rehash, recall, remember only…historians, atheists, pundits, cynics can all do that. The reason they were walking away and kevitching is their lack of faith. God calls us to faith, faith in Jesus, faith in the truth he speaks, faith in what he states as fact,…for God does not give opinions, considerations, perhapses, maybes. When God, when Jesus says something is going to happen, it will happen. Seek, ask, knock, pray, become…and what he promised will happen. Do not disbelieve, but believe.

God is, His Word is, His Spirit is. On that, you can rely…on that you can, indeed, bet the farm…Yes, buy that field! Dig up that treasure! Let us also be…not in ourselves, but through, with, and in Him. Amen. Alleluia!!!

The “Must”

The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise. Lk 24:7 The critical “must.” From Heaven itself, we learn that it was a “must” that Jesus be arrested, tortured, die on the cross and rise. No way around it, over it, under it, only through it. That was the cup of Gethsemane. The “must.”

But why, why the “must.” God could have wiped away the debt due from sin with one nod, one wave. But with it would have gone all justice as well as mercy, all comfort as well as contrition, all trust as well as love. It would have been the act of a capricious child, not a omniscient Good God. Not a God who loves us as we are, mired in sin and death, who accepts the decisions of our vacillating wills, free as they terribly, ominously are. The most devastating bomb on earth is not made by human hands, it is free will…but at the same time, it is our most precious and sacred gift.

Many creatures have intellects, not as developed or lucid as ours, but intellects. I question whether we can call ourselves “rational animals” if we limit “rational” to simply knowing. No, only if it is tied inextricably to willing, doing, being rational, do we deserve that definition. Therefore, I submit that it is free will, that which indeed makes us most like God, which makes us most human. And it is free will which was surrendered to the “must.” God showed us in His Divine Son the way to Himself is by using that free will to choose “yours be done.”