Saturday, March 23, 2013

I blew it!!!

Look good?  What's it for?
     Yes, that's right... I'm eating humble pie with a cherry on top.  My last post on 2 Cor 8 was not wrong... I just missed the whole point behind the passage, nay, the whole point behind the whole Bible!  Thankfully, my pastor didn't read that post (to my knowledge), and I am very grateful that his sermon last Sunday set me straight.  So starting from scratch and laying the proper foundation, and picking the most controversial way to put it, like an old teacher of mine...
     I said this to a godly coworker today, and he started laughing.  I sketched out what I discovered about the collectivist principles of the covenant communities of Israel and the N.T. Church, and was headed toward the epiphany my pastor blessed me with, but then he took over the conversation (I know you know someone like that!).  The text for my thesis is just before the last passage in 2 Cor;  I'm still kicking myself for such blindness:
"For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might be rich." (8:9)
A great view of what we look like...
     So I hope the sting of shock is already departing;  when talking about the proper place for the  redistribution of wealth, we must start with the One who embodies the voluntary release of what is rightfully His, who does so to benefit those "less fortunate" than Himself (there is no such thing as fortune... this phrase really is just a sanitized term that neglects God as the Source of all good).
     In my pastor's sermon, he admitted that to call Christ rich is the classic understatement:  He owns everything (Ps 50:10-12), because He made everything (Col 1:16-17, Jn 1:2-3).  All glory, credit, and honor are His (Rev 4:11, 5:11-14), and the only rightful place of any creature before Him is on their face in fear and awe of His splendor.  And in relinquishing His wealth (which is the exercise of His power and prestige, not the existence of it), Jesus becomes the model that Marx and Lenin never knew they were looking for... the Man who gives up everything for the sake of the crippled and lowly.  But just like earlier in the book (5:21), Christ doesn't just lose His stuff, He takes on lack, want and dependency.  Becoming poor here must entail all the frailties Screwtape heard about;  our weakness as bags of fluid, held together by the most pitiful union of skin and bone.  For the eye accustomed to blinding heavenly glory, one must doggedly hunt the "imago Dei" (image of God) that gives us any value at all.
     But Christ's humiliation, both in life and death, collected our own poverty like a magnet, sucking it into Himself and swallowing it up in His priceless worth.  In Him, every single Child of God makes Bill Gates look like a bum, and everything that was Christ's is now shared with His undeserving Bride.  This is why we shall judge angels, and why everything, every event and object, now serves us to work out God's perfect will (1 Cor 3:22-23).  So it's in view of this jackpot inheritance that we're told to assist our siblings in Christ... I'm reminded of the parable of the ungrateful servant (Mt 18:23-35).  The only explanation for a person consistently not sharing this world's riches with the least of Christ's brethren is that they've never experienced Christ's riches, and are still beggars at the gates of the Kingdom of God.

Photos courtesy of 401(K) 2013, DaveBleasdale

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