Friday, June 19, 2015

Recovery in the BIble (RIB)


Jesus as the new covenant, the living covenant -- pure mystery to me, merely words on a page -- until I realized that the old covenant  was inscribed on stone. Then I remembered that in Jewish tradition, rules for conduct had devolved to become numerous and rigid, not unlike the former stone tablets. Human nature had taken its course and exploded the Ten Commandments into shards of excruciating detail.

Then Jesus came along, and what is the very first thing this new minister does? He goes to a wedding at Cana to transform water (colorless and unexciting) into wine (beautiful, festive, the color of blood and heart). To me, the wedding at Cana seems to demonstrate a shift from stone coldness to welcoming warmth.
Until the resurrection of Jesus, we humans were like Lazarus, trapped behind an enormous, heavy rock. The result? Some very, very dry bones, a population of people in spiritual death. It is Jesus who opens up the tomb and brings us from the walking dead into New Life. The difficult message -- the one that took me years to hear --- is that, in order for Jesus to bring me back to life, I must first be dead. Death of self is a prerequisite, it seems.

This is the New Covenant: gathering living, breathing persons like myself who have found that the Way is not the old way of following myriad rules. Instead, it is the Way as led by the Spirit of God. And what does that mean? For me it is simply this: dying to self and following Jesus -- away from legalism into love, away from moral quantity into moral quality, away from darkness into His Incredible Lightness of Being.

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