come and see

Today’s staff devotions have been tumbling around in my head all morning like a load of towels in the dryer, heavy.  The video clip played dancing on my sub conscience and my heart like a river dance troupe ( https://vimeo.com/79288467 ).   The song ‘there is a fountain’ is the playlist that accompanies my thoughts and I’m driven to write. To get it out, to pour out of me the thoughts that want to be set free.

Today’s staff devotions dealt with a Christian perspective on homosexuality.  Specifically our response to it.  A loaded and emotionally charged topic to be sure.

I have two people in my life that I hold heart deep, to-my-core-important and I cherish them both with all of me. Two people I would stand and testify are true. Honest. Wholesome. Loving. Christ like really… if you could for a moment remove the un-Christ like element of homosexuality…  in other words, imperfect.  But then, aren’t I??

Let me tell you, I struggle.

So much.

I envy. Nearly every day I have one moment of unabashed envy for the relationships I see around me… Mrs. Pamela Heslinga and her handsome husband who is faithful and kind (not to mention the fact that she is tall and perfect without a speck of make-up on). Mrs. Cabral and her faithful loving husband who is clearly a great father… and countless others.  All I ever wanted was to be a wife and a mother and to honour God with the family I made. I don’t have that and ENVY those who do. Envy is a sin.

I covet.  The house someone else has, the car they drive that doesn’t have dents or french-fries in the cup holders, the time they have to pursue the gifts and talents and passions they have, the voice of another singer, the body of another … I covet, even tho it is clearly a sin.

I have gossiped, lied, stolen, hated (a sin God lists equal to murder)and the list goes on.

So who do I think I am that I can turn my head in the direction of someone else and point my nose in a downward direction?

Am I talking about inside the church? No. Judgement begins with the house of God. If my sister sitting beside me in church is living in unrepentant and flagrant sin, I have an obligation to love her enough to call her into question and love her into forgiveness and restoration. And she has the same responsibility regarding me.

I’m talking about that outward gaze we cast on the world and condemn them with our ‘holier than thou’ attitude.

“Let him who is without sin cast the first stone” (John 8:7) … I would have had to leave my stone and join that woman in the center of ridicule, had I been there for that incredible moment in history.

Here’s what I think. I can be free of my sin. I can put on the life of Christ as my mantle, my identity, my cloak, and shed the stigma and struggle of my sinful nature. I can be free, thanks to Yeshua and His sacrifice.  And if I can…

Look at Him… at Jesus, sinless son of God most high, sitting at a well

John 4:17-18   17  The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have correctly said, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; this you have said truly.”…

20″Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, and you people say that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship.” 21Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, an hour is coming when neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father.  22″You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23″But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. 24″God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming (He who is called Christ); when that One comes, He will declare all things to us.” 26Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.”…

28So the woman left her water pot, and went into the city and said to the men, 29″Come, see a man who told me all the things that I have done; this is not the Christ, is it?”……

In spirit and in truth.

Let’s be truthful.  We don’t see here a great alter call, and this woman being made to repent and made an example to all… Jesus calls her on her “truth” and then speaks to her about a deeper truth, spirit deep. God is Holy, we are not , and no mountain or city or church pew is going to make us Holy. Only HE will make us Holy and we can’t get there from here. Not from judgement or good works or wishful thinking or membership. Worship HIM. Invite HIM in.

This woman goes back to the men of her village and she changes the landscape forever with those simple words…This is not the Christ is it?.

Isn’t this Christ?

He didn’t accept her sin… but He invited her to worship Him. I can’t stay in my sin and worship Him. Worship changes me. He shows up and it changes me. It’s that transforming empowering love I want to live in… Jesus says, ‘come and see where I dwell’  And I have found it’s a beautiful and grace filled place.

A short story to illuminate my point.  Many years ago my van was stolen, the van I drove my (then) five children around in. My ‘Christian’ church going ex refused to help me.  However, my gay friend, whom my ex routinely referred to in horrible derogatory terms as in “keep that ‘f’ away from my kids” opened his cheque book and shelled out 1200.00 for the repairs and didn’t bat an eye. Who acted more Christ like there??  Beloved, lets be mindful of who sits in the seat of judgement and who doesn’t. Lets be grace filled… and lets learn to love. Until the whole earth knows us by our love.

There is a fountain filled with blood, Drawn from Immanuel’s veins,

And sinners plunged beneath that flood Lose all their guilty stains.

The dying thief rejoiced to see

That fountain in His day;

And there have I,

though vile as he, Washed all my sins away.

Dear dying Lamb, Thy precious blood Shall never lose its pow’r,

Till all the ransomed church of God

Are safe, to sin no more.

E’er since by faith I saw the stream

Thy flowing wounds supply,

Redeeming love has been my theme, And shall be till I die.

 When this poor, lisping, stamm’ring tongue

Lies silent in the grave,

Then in a nobler, sweeter song, I’ll sing Thy pow’r to save.

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