I haven’t heard from my friend George Will for some time, he’s overdue to check-in. If I don’t hear from him soon I’ll try to find his son Art in Florida and ask how George is, maybe George has gone to be with Jesus (I’ve written about George on my Kaleidoscope blog); though the phrase “gone to be with Jesus” isn’t really accurate because George has already lived with Jesus and in Jesus and for Jesus for many years.
A few months ago I read that Dallas Willard told someone that when he died it might take him a while to realize that he was in heaven. I don’t think that was boasting; I think we can be so infused with Jesus and enveloped in Jesus that being in Christ is an existential and transcendent reality that overwhelms us.
I’m thinking about George this morning because I’m thinking about a passage that I associate with George, a passage that could easily be his “life passage”, 1 Corinthians 1:30: But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification, and redemption, so that, just as it is written, Let him who boasts, boast in the Lord.
George planted this passage in my heart in 1966 and 1967; I guess my life is a fulfillment of the proverb that tells us that if we train children in the way they should go that when they grow up they won’t depart from that way. While it’s a fact that during my growing-up I have had seasons of departure from the Way, it’s also true that I’m now more in love with Jesus than ever – you could say that I’m learning what it is to truly love Jesus, to be in love with Jesus, to adore Jesus; my heart skips beats and my eyes light up at the thought of Jesus. This is not poetic or romantic language for the sake of language – this is my experience.
A few years ago an acquaintance of mine left his wife of decades – they were both in their 50s and he left her. I hear of these things more and more and I wonder how could that be…after many years of marriage why would someone leave a husband or wife for another person – why shatter the sacredness of a holy bond?
In the same way I wonder how those who have followed Jesus for years become fascinated by tangential teachings, doctrines, and practices that push Jesus away – I wonder how anything can take the place of Jesus. I love my wife Vickie more everyday and I love Jesus more everyday. My two great joys in life are to be with Jesus and be with Vickie; associated with these two great joys are to share the love and grace of Jesus with others as Christ’s broken bread and poured out wine. What else could I possibly ask for?
I have two friends whom I dearly love who prefer other dance partners to Jesus and I just don’t understand it, I’ve known and loved them for years, they’ve been major influences in my life for years; they are advancing in chronological age as I am – and yet the storyline of their lives has changed from Jesus to other things. They are offended when I talk about Jesus being the center of all we do – how can this be? The situation reminds me of a time when I went to see the adulterous husband of one of my parishioners – he didn’t much care for me knocking on his door, he didn’t much care for me coming into his house (it was hardly a home at that point), he didn’t much care for what I had to say, and I’m sure he was glad to see me leave.
Jesus is our wisdom and our righteousness and our sanctification and our redemption; Jesus is the only one in whom we are to glory, there is nothing to be compared to Him. In the New Jerusalem there is no sun or moon or stars – all light comes from the Father and the Son – if that is the fashion of our future, should it not also be the fashion of our present?