Where This Meets That
“Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Amen, amen, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains just a grain of wheat; but if it dies, it produces much fruit. Whoever loves his life will lose it, and whoever hates his life in this world will preserve it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. The Father will honor whoever serves me.'” — John 12:23-26
Following Christ is simple, but it’s not easy.
To bring Christ’s light to the world for all my days requires of me but one simple sacrifice, and yet that sacrifice seems utterly contrary to my nature. That sacrifice, of course, is myself, and the reason it seems so contrary to my nature is that I am living according to the wrong nature!
As a Christian I am made of two natures: worldly and spiritual, animal and divine, self and self-gift. I am born of this world and so seek sustenance from this world. I fear, mourn, and curse danger, hurt, and loss.
But of spirit, I am born again to “walk by faith, not by sight”, to glorify a kingdom “not of this world”. I fear neither danger nor hunger nor humility nor loss, for while such fears smolder in myself, they perish in my self-gift.
God first gave me life, then followed with freedom – freedom to choose which nature to pursue. And so there lay before my every choice a worldly path and one invisibly divine, one of self-servitude and another of self-gift, one to find a glorified Barrabas and the other my broken Jesus.
My how the natures differ by sight: only by faith can I see that my pain is me.
I will not fear, for my fear is for me;
I will not hate, for my hate is for me;
I will not mourn, for my mourning is for me.
When I have surrendered myself, I will have no self for whom to fear or hate or mourn. I will want not but to give all I have.
My only need will be to love, and in loving purely, I may fulfill Christ’s final commandment to love others as he has loved me: perfectly.
My Lord Jesus, only through you can I learn to live as you have lived, and only by living in this way can I learn to love as you have loved. Lord, this is what I long for with my life: to give it fully so that I may one day sit with you in the branches of the Tree of Life you sowed for us all through your sacrifice on the Tree of Faith. Thank you!