Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Where eternity washes up against time - Lent 29

Sometimes life and work and people can get a little overwhelming. So I drove Rebekah out to the beach yesterday, and we had one of those "seafood and sunset" experiences Florida is famous for. After dinner we walked where the ocean laps against the land and I couldn't help but think about how - in Jesus - eternity washes into the edges of time. Christ is the interface of the infinite and the sublime.

Nowhere else in Scripture is this phenomenon illustrated so clearly as when Jesus, limited by the confines of human flesh, prays to the Eternal Father on behalf of his friends.
  • My prayer is not for my disciples alone, he says. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message.
Slosh... splash... lap... the tide recedes... the water throws itself against the beach.
  • There had to have been tears in his eyes.
  • There had to have been a catch or two in his breath.
  • There had to have been a break in his voice.
  • Christ's prayer is so poetically tender, so compassionate, and completely empathetic.
The Lord loved this small group of men. I'm sure that he must have forged deep and personal friendships - because he himself is the author of relationship. God created us for the experience of community. Relationship to one-another, and relationship to himself. Jesus, fully human and fully God, understood and desired both ends of the equation. For him, relationships must have defined both his complete humanity and his intention - as God - toward humankind.

Our struggle to respond appropriately to the eternal is revealed in our response to Jesus. Jesus, in turn, was reaching out (is reaching out) to us, individually, in this prayer. Walking with us, as the Father originally intended in the Garden of Eden.

I love the way Jesus references those of us who are yet to come, traced through the eons of time; the way he appeals to God for the opportunity to share his glory with us, the same way he trusts us with his Father's message of active love.

I am so grateful that Jesus expressed his intention to continue to make God know to us, that he understood the comfort and the promise involved in that more complete realization of Grace... "That I myself may be in them," he prays.

It is certainly fitting that Christ's last words at that Last Supper were a prayer; that his benediction was a commitment to make God's perfect love known, evident, in the world. That he would accomplish all of this through his ongoing investment in us, in Derek Maul, in each soul reading today. "That the love you have for me may be in them."
  • How great is the love the father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are. (1 John 3:1)
PRAYER: Your love is so great that we cannot contain it sometimes, God. We are overwhelmed and we are humbled by you grace. Amen.

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