Saturday, May 3, 2008

How can it be?

I've had a hymn running through my brain today--"And Can It Be," by Charles Wesley. I love hymns and this is one of my favorites. I actually love almost every kind of worship music, anything that draws me into the presence of God, which is, after all, the purpose of worship. I don't care how it happens. I don't care if we sing a song once or four times, if I sit in a cathedral and listen to Gregorian chants--if the goal is to meet the Lord of heaven and earth, I am there.

So I love hymns. And "And Can It Be," is a profound one.
"And can it be that I should gain an interest in my Savior's blood?
Died He for me who caused Him pain. For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love, how can it be that Thou my God, shouldst die for me?"

These words have been pin-balling around inside my head all day. And I realized how little we get it--GOD died for us. The one who made the heavens, the stars, mountains, oceans, who created every living creature. This God subjected Himself to the idiotic, asinine, cruel taunts of human flesh. The confines and indignities of a physical body for the singular purpose of that Death on our behalf.

And we take it so for granted that we keep asking Him for stuff. For things that are downright ridiculous: lost keys, the winning of sporting events, good weather for our church or family events; or slightly better, blessings of every kind: good health, happiness, safe travel, loving relationships, and a plethora of other things between. And because He loves us, loves us enough that He did Incarnate Himself, He answers those prayers. Gladly. Lovingly. But when I think about it, there is only one prayer--Jesus. To know Him, to respond to Him, to be thankful for Him, to become His. There's an old song from the seventies that I think fits here--"I could wish you joy and peace to last your whole life long, I could wish you sunshine, or a cheerful little song. Wish you all the happiness that this world could bring. But I wish you Jesus..."

There isn't really anything else, is there? Sometimes I get really, really tired of the church wanting the blessings of God more than they want Him. Not necessarily wanting Him at all, if truth be told. Jesus wanting the blessings. Wanting life to go well for them, wanting the church to satisfy something in them, for them. To meet their needs, their way. But we've already been given it all in Jesus. I've said this a million times, and it isn't original to me by a long shot. But if we never get another thing--if there's no other blessing given in our lives, what we've been given in Jesus is more than enough. It's everything. There isn't even a way to balance the scale for what he's done for us. How can it be, indeed?

Today, whoever you are, wherever you are as you read this, I wish you Jesus.

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