Friday, May 23, 2008

How Far Will You Go?

Jesus, how far into the darkness can I wander? How far can I stray and you still find me? If I dip into the vast darkness who all I am...if I find myself in addiction, if I journey into lands void of morality, if I mistreat the very people you served, if I trod through the desert of despair...Jesus, simply put, how far will you go with me?

Lord, will you soil your radiant garments to find me in the swamps of life? Will you swim through the predatory streams of the wasteland of my brokenness? Will the muck and mire of my own making produce too much of a stench for you to stay around? Will the nails I sharpen with continuous weakness drive too deeply into your flesh for you to find value in this vessel? Going the distance with me is one thing...digging me out of my own slop is a messy proposition and is quite another thing.

Luke 15: 1-4 Now the tax collectors and "sinners" were all gathering around to hear him. But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, "This man welcomes sinners and eats with them." Then Jesus told them this parable: "Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Does he not leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it?

It seems that Jesus was well aware of the impurity he would encounter and he never backed away. It also seems that Jesus more closely associated with the "have-nots" and the dirty and that he only became nauseated by the arrogance of the "religious".

It is easy to assume that the holiness of the Messiah elevates him to a position of isolation. But not our Messiah. Too often we mistakenly treat our relationship with the Son of God as a a fragile one. Do we have any reason to think that Jesus isn't into isolation and is in no way fragile? Sure, Luke 15 tells us that if he has to he will go looking for us. I will go look for my things when lost as well, but I don't like it and hold grudges over it. I get angry, I pout and I remind anyone who will listen how inconvenient it is for me to find something or someone who has been lost. But not Jesus. Jesus actually asks for more...check this out.

Revelation 3:20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me.

Jesus is standing at someones door and must be the door of the lost soul who doesn't know Jesus, right? Or perhaps Jesus is talking to entire countries, regions or people groups who are doomed to hell since they don't know Jesus, right? Absolutely not. Jesus is talking to churches. The knock isn't at someone else's door...he is knocking at our door. The church at Laodicea is receiving the knock...and so are we.

Jesus continues to knock because his work is undone. Sure, he has wandered to the depths of the Earth to find us. Of course he has given himself for us. There is more though. Our transformation isn't complete when we are saved. Our maturity is far from completed and our journey isn't fact it has only just begun. The dark places we are scared to go...the stench that only is acceptable to us...the pile that we hide from others by closing the door to that area of our lives...that's the very door on which Jesus knocks. Jesus isn't afraid of our piles and he doesn't back down from any perversion.

The next time we are tempted to open those doors and wander into the void...perhaps we can take Jesus with us...he wants to go there with us and he died in order to clean it clean us up. Isn't Jesus Amazing?

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