Sunday, September 11, 2005

life giving liberator

jesus painting
Originally uploaded by dream awakener.

when i think of jesus, i think of a wild and unrestrained rabbi who was both a life giver and liberator.

jesus is life giving. life is the opposite of death; it is hope in the face of death. life is reconciliation with God, the forgiveness of sins, the release from overpowering guilt. life is becoming more whole, experiencing healing, moving from self-centeredness to becoming others centered. life is the end of meaninglessness and despair. we experience joy, suffering and even dying for the sake of life, because following jesus is a life giving experience.

but I’ve also come to know jesus as the great liberator. he is the God of the exodus. i've come to realize that jesus’ care for the poor and the oppressed is not simply an ideological preference but it is foundational to his ministry. he came to bring “good news to the poor.” the Holy Spirit is God’s power for liberation – “for where the spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” jesus is the way, the truth and the life. he is about social liberation and personal liberation from sin and guilt, through the grace of God’s unconditional love. jesus is able to release us from self-centered concern about our own righteousness to a free and vigorous concern for our neighbor.

i have come to realize that true liberty is not simply the “unlimited freedom to make the world as we want.” but jesus, his life, his teachings, his symbolic actions, parables, death, and resurrection define liberty. jesus is where life and freedom lie. love, justice and power come together in him, giving us ultimate hope in victory over oppression and injustice. specifically, jesus’ own practical option for the poor and the oppressed define for us what life and liberation mean. true life and liberation for the happy, the healthy and the prosperous cannot be had, except in solidarity with those who are poor, sick or oppressed. following jesus means an end, or at least the beginning of the end, of personal selfishness and greed and the triviality of a life oriented around consumption.

i have also come to realize that the work that God started in me will continue until jesus comes back. he still has a lot of work to do. if you want to learn more about jesus, his life and mission, check out the lastest series on mark.


Post a Comment

<< Home