Relationships are odd things.
And the verses this morning reminded me of something: complacency kills.
That “relationship” is a two-way living “active” reality always:
”Jesus said to his disciples, “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the deeds of power done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago, sitting in sackcloth and ashes. But at the judgement it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon than for you. And you, Capernaum, will you be exalted to heaven? No, you will be brought down to Hades. “Whoever listens to you listens to me, and whoever rejects you rejects me, and whoever rejects me rejects the one who sent me.”” Luke 10:13-16
This relationship He and I have – that I value so highly – that I tend so faithfully – that I prize above all else …
Just what does that mean in reality? What are these “deeds of power” – and have I been shown them? And what is this Chorazin … Bethsaida … Capernaum all about? Because that was then, and this is now.
And then He whispered gently: “Are you not a place in which I rest, live and breathe? Are you not one in whom I dwell always? Are you now denying that you are “My home turf”, Paul?”
Because if I am denying all of that – then what does that say about this “relationship” I prize? What does that say about the reality of my relationship with my Lord and Father?
Am I not simply a “temple goer” sitting here each morning and luxuriating in the “feel good factor”? Only to “switch off” and be someone else the rest of each day?
And just what does it mean to “not switch off”? Must I be an “evangelist” … a “God nerd” … a “bible basher” … a walking talking preaching teaching screeching mini-me of Jesus? Or perhaps a walking example of grace and truth … a giver of love … a disciple with all the time in the world for others … the personification of true love for – and fellowship with – all?
Is that not a tall order? Is that not – maybe – just following the rules and regulations again. Being a cardboard cut-out kind of “christian”? Performing for others?
Because it seems to me that “being real” is the best I can do.
Being the me who understands I cannot earn my way to anything worthwhile, the me who understands I cannot buy love, the me who knows I will never appeal to everyone, the me who is “me” – and is loved simply because of that fact.
Is that not the greatest “deed of power” He could ever show me?
That the deed most great is to know that I am loved/saved/forgiven/empowered/saved/(fill in whatever words work for you) not because of what I ought to be doing/thinking/believing/saying/(fill in whatever words work for you) …
I am saved because I am who I am. No more and no less. What greater deed of power could my Lord and Father show me?
If I am not changed by that deed of power – if I still choose to be a scaredy cat – if I still rely solely on my version of me – if I am not changed by that freedom resting in Him and He in me …
Is that not “woe to me.”
And a personal gripe – this “the judgement” malarkey I see anguished over: when is the second coming, when will I be taken up to heaven, when will (my personal list of) non-believing people (I have already judged to be sinners ripe for hell) be cast out and left behind …?
Why do we prefer to have that moment over the horizon and out of sight? Why is it not in this moment and the next – all day every day – week after week – month after month? Why do we think we have a calendar of eternity – and why on earth would we even want to?
That is not “God given knowledge”. That is just plain ordinary man-made fact.
For if I am not changed by the freedom to be who I am resting in I Am – a “deed of power” for this moment and the next – then just what earthly reason (let alone heavenly reason) is there for this “relationship” I claim to have?