Monday, June 13, 2011

Slain and Singing

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.--1Thessalonians 5:18
Surely He took all our infirmities and carried our sorrows, yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him and afflicted.--Isaiah 53:4

I have troubles, troubles through which I am to praise You. My troubles fret You, too, though You allow them all. You really feel like a parent in this. This is why You call Yourself our Father. No other god, either ancient or modern, does this. Other gods manifest as rulers and kings, powerful and frightful, one dimensional in their lofty separation, but not You. They are flat, not gods at all.

But You, You not only carry me, but You carry my troubles too, lift them from my back and put them on Your own, ultimately bearing them all the way to the cross. If I think of them properly, my troubles constitute my sacrifice to You as I surrender them. To You I am to transfer all my earthly hopes, slain by my own hand by both command and necessity. They bleed all over the altar, then become You somehow: Your blood, Your pain, because I have slain what I most treasure for Your sake.

This must continue until I realize that You have told me to kill only what I do not need. You provide everything I need--raise it and kill it and raise it again in Your perfect will. And all the while, You do this not because You lack anything and need that sacrifice, but because I do. You die and resurrect by voluntary affliction, not as inevitable consequence. You do it through my fault, through my fault, through my most grievous fault. You continue to lay down among spilt blood and scattered crumbs, to split Yourself open again and again, then to rise up time after time until I see it all, grasp Your holy feet and give glorious thanks for my burden's assumption. and slaughter in You.

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