And then He did this in the shower …
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But what is freedom, Nicodemus?
You are teacher of the law. You know each word of God. Laid down, passed on, pored over, refined and defined, extrapolated and redefined … You add and you subtract, always seeking perfection, always seeking perfection in your relationship with God.
Think back to creation. The Garden. That tree. The Fall. Genetically endowing all ever after with “sin”. You teach that and insist on choice: Do you choose God or do you choose man? Do you choose the science of man or the creation of God? We are fallen – do you choose to work hard, to please God, to stand again? Or do you choose to lie in sin – desperate, depraved, dead inside?
As a teacher of the law you enforce. You constrain. You judge. You condemn.
Yet what else happened in that Garden other than your definition? Is it possible there is another truth? A truth of Love and not a truth of Fall? Would you consider Love – or must you always choose the Evil One and the choices he insists of you: me or God, man or God, evolution or seven days, commonsense or fairy stories, self-determination or surrender? Choose or be damned. Choose and be damned.
Could you be doing the Evil One’s work by enforcing choice? By insisting agreement? By coveting no choice in others? That the only choice is the Law?
Consider this: a small baby. Consider the absolute power within. Consider the acquiescence we allow. The determination to overcome we so proudly embrace. Consider the raw and unfettered power over others. Nurtured, fed, cosseted, loved. Until that unrestrained power devours all. Until it would devour its parents, its friends, its brothers and sisters.
Consider how powerful “I am” is in a child. Consider what “I Am” means. And then what do you do … ?
Do and do not. Be and be not. Act or act not. Give or give not. We enforce obedience. We enforce restraint and we enforce uniformity. We see that as safety and peace. We insist that each makes that choice. And for those who choose not to – for those who choose a different law? We judge, we condemn and we punish. We exclude and we isolate and we reject.
Nicodemus, where is the “putting back”? Where is the putting back what was taken away in the Garden?
Consider God. Awesome power. Infinite power. Eternal and beyond understanding. We come to worship to avoid being fried. We come to idolise to avoid being cast out. And in this work of obedience, we cast out so much else – so many else.
Consider this child. Awesome and infinite power. With one thing missing. Missing: a sense of sacred.
So you replace that with a sense of “scared”.
And the child bends or is cast out. Learning uniformity – not love. Learning punishment – not grace. Learning rejection – not life. Learning to be strong, to be brave, to be kind, to be generous, to not kill, to not steal, to not covet, to do this and do not do that – to not love as God loves – or else!
Is it any wonder we see God as we see the discipline of a young child?
And the Evil One is content.
Nicodemus, are you also content? Is this what you see as Love? Is this the God you would follow? Is this the God you wish for all eternity?
Consider this same young child … devouring all around …
Does he/she see you with awesome power yet living a life that is sacred to all? Does he/she see grace in you? Does he/she ever get to choose life over death? For do you not only allow death over life? Do you not teach rejection above love – control above freedom – the Law above sacredness?
You see laws. You see prophecy. You see this God as coming back to “make everything perfect” as defined by you and you alone.
I bring Light. I bring Love. I bring Life over death. I bring freedom. I Am.
I am that Grace. I am that God. I am freedom. Not just for you.
I am freedom for all.