From the editor: May 16, 2014
Life Beyond Belief?
Jesus is full of surprises to his disciples, such that it seems they are either left speechless or they utter nonsense. He is Transfigured before them; he prays in Agony in the Garden. He willingly endures scourging and Crucifixion. He vacates the Tomb but leaves them guessing for a time about his whereabouts. He appears out of nowhere. He meets them while they are fishing and cooks them breakfast. He Ascends out of their sight with no clue as to when he will next return. The disciples are told to wait for the Spirit from on high. When the Spirit comes, they speak in other tongues. Were they expecting to do that? Or a rushing wind and fire?
The true destiny of man in Christ is beyond our imagining—"What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man conceived, what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:8-10)
Yet the always-surprising Christ gives us enough clues so that we know what does not belong to those "many mansions" which he has prepared for his own. We know that envy, hatred, egoism, pettiness, gossip, and deceitfulness, among other things, are not welcome.
We also know full well that the trajectory of the way of life that leads to life runs in a certain direction and not in another direction. For example, we surely know that our progress along the Way of Life (as opposed to the Way that leads to death) is not secured by more money, more possessions, more to eat, more to drink, more fleshly indulgence, more sex, more fame, more lust, or more self-centeredness.
We have ample evidence in the lives of saints, consistently over millennia, that progress runs in the opposite direction. Men and women have beheld the Light of the Transfiguration, and not through fleshly living. The way of death simply consumes and devours to satisfy an appetite; the Way of Life gives of itself, grows in true love, moving out from the heart and embracing all.
With great warrant we can say, then, "Be careful what you wish for." We know not what the Sovereign Lord might place in our lives to move us along the Way, but if our desire is fundamentally to "behold the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple," we do well. He may surprise, even shock us, but He will not disappoint!
Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture,
—James M. Kushiner
© The Fellowship of St. James. 2014
The Fellowship of St. James publications: Follow us online!
In Christ All Sinners Are Truly Made New
Marriage Lite or the New Concubinage?
on the Problem of Preaching About "Responsible Parenthood"
Dr. Eric Hedin & the Contested Boundaries of Science
The Great Epics Are Theological & Mark the Hard Path to Beatitude
An Interview with Star Parker