Thursday, February 7, 2008

Abi's Lent: Day Two

Since Scot's book The Jesus Creed doesn't have 40 chapters, I will be taking the liberty of blogging about a few chapters more than one day--depending on what I'm thinking. And since my first day's post was late at night after a very busy day, I'm going to finish up my thoughts about that first chapter today.

I'm using the Jesus Creed Journal I created to go along with this 40 Days Living The Jesus Creed Challenge, so this is all turning out very nicely.

Yesterday's post talked a bit about the Hebrew word used for love: ahab. Part of my word study revealed that this word means the ardent and vehement inclination of the mind coupled with tender affection. It goes on to reveal that ahab may refer to the unspeakable love and tender mercies of God in the covenant relationship with his people.

(By the way: I just love my Hebrew-Greek Key Word Study Bible (NIV) published by AMG International, Inc. -- it is the perfect "workhorse" Bible for word study freaks, like The Abbess!)

For any of you familiar with The Abbess and her cHesed glasses, you will probably now understand yesterday's revelation that ahab and her favorite Hebrew term/concept cHesed are synonyms.

During this introductory chapter about the Jesus Creed, Scot notes Jesus' revolutionary twist to the ancient Hebrew creed: Not only are we to love God, we are to love others as well; and to love God means to follow Jesus. It is important to let that sink in a bit....

No longer can the Jews hide behind fervent love for God (yet taking advantage of, and frequently "othering" God's precious Eikons). Jesus tied the love of God to the love of others. And more than that, he said that if you want to practice really loving God, you must follow him.

This would be why he quickly became so very unpopular with the Jewish leaders....

This is also why the Jesus Creed and its focus on this ahab love of God and others reminds me so much of New Testament cHesed. Faithful covenant-keeping is just as important as making covenant. And Jesus and Paul defined entry into, and faithful keeping of, the New Covenant with terms and concepts that have been boiled down to this simple formulary:
In Christ + Like Christ = With Christ.

  • If I am In Christ, I am part of the New Covenant, an adopted child of God and connected with the Father and the Holy Spirit--I am part of the perichoretic, interpenetrating Eternal Community.
  • If I am Like Christ, I am loving God and loving others--thereby faithfully keeping covenant.
  • If I am In Christ and Like Christ, then the promise of being With Christ -- now and forever -- is mine.

This is so simple yet so important. Please take time to do some hard and deep thinking about this in context with what you know about being a follower of Jesus Christ.

I'm sure that there will be more opportunities to get deeper into cHesed as I read The Jesus Creed ... so I don't want to put too much into any one post.

Go with God.

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