Saturday, February 16, 2008

Abi's Lent: Day 11

I woke up this morning wondering: how do I love God this way? Exactly what am I to do? When things are stressful, it seems just beyond my sight or reach ... sigh. But I think it is a good question to ask, and I'm sure Sarayu (that's the name for the Holy Spirit in The Shack) will help me one step at a time.

And then I got around to Chapter 8 in The Jesus Creed. Bingo -- step one delivered.

This chapter is about Joseph, Jesus' adopted father (I find that slightly ironic...that Jesus even knows how it feels to be adopted!), and the price he paid for loving God: his reputation.

Scot goes on to say that reputation (what others think of you) does not equal identity (who you really are), and I think this is very important. Back to valuing truth over perceptions. But, even more, is his statement that untangling these two is the beginning of spiritual formation. (p. 76)

I agree because learning what Papa says about who we are and what he thinks of us is more important than what we think ... and vitally more important that what others think of us! And the day that we join the New Covenant, our identity becomes "In Christ" and our reputation dies. When we "put on Christ" we take up his reputation.

Sometimes we have a hard time letting our reputation die ... this is just another aspect of dying to self so that we can live for Christ -- I had just not thought of it this way before!

Scot goes on to say that God put his reputation on the line with Jesus -- his unusual conception, his family circumstances, his radical life and teachings, especially his death. God certainly knows something about losing one's reputation....

But this is just another part of what Papa and Jesus were willing to lose in order to gain life for us. Even here, Jesus walks the path of valuing identity over reputation. Loving God means following Jesus ... and following Jesus means laying down our reputation in order to embrace our true identity. No matter what.

This is a very serious thing that I think too many do not consider when they go about their every day lives ... God's reputation is on the line because he has adopted us in Christ. What we do either gives glory to God in Christ, or splashes and smudges the Imago Dei.

Part of the Purple Martyrdom is laying down my puny personal reputation in favor of Christ's greater reputation. They aren't always mutually exclusive ... but sometimes it seems we get way too worked up about our deal and not worked up enough about God's.

Sigh.... That is certainly a great answer to my question. I'm going to be processing that....

Wrapped up in Jesus and Leaning on Papa.

1 comment:

thohstadt said...

Hi Peggy. I tried to reach you on but it wouldn't work. So please allow this comment. I received an update from Cynthia about volume 2. Sounds exciting! It has been a while since I submitted my
chapter, and I can't recall if you also have the abstract and bio. Can you tell me how I can access this information so I can determine what else you need? Also, the ID and password I had saved doesn't seem to work now. Thanks for any help. Tom