I’m having a great deal of trouble understanding what is happening in the world, lately. After some introspection, I have come to the conclusion that much of the blame comes from tantrums. The world needs someone to verbalize: GROW UP, ALREADY!
Each generation, each culture, each form of political government, each family, has its own ‘issues’. We cannot expect one another to understand, conform, or act upon them without realizing that unless we are united through those same joys and sorrows of another’s journey, we cannot really understand it fully. Oh, we can try…but we don’t really understand.
I read a book in my younger years which had a great impact on me entitled: A WALK ACROSS AMERICA by Peter Jenkins (Please, if you can find it, read it as it will impact you as well!) In this book, a young man who was a hippie and dissatisfied by what he saw happening in the United States was told that he might want to ‘see’ (experience) what he was complaining about before he complained so much–so he took it upon himself to begin walking from upper New York state down to the gulf state of Louisiana …without any real money and only his faithful huskie dog, Cooper, as his companion. He’d planned to work along the way to earn money and wanted to see what kind of reaction he would gain from those he met.
During his journey, this long-haired, red-headed man was impacted by many people including a mountain hermit, an African-American family, and others who found him work or offered him a place to stay. Some that he met freely gave him whatever help or food that they had. Others, tried to run him down.
This man understood that to grow up, one must come to the point of maturity by working to find common ground on what we agree on, in order to begin the more difficult task of addressing where we disagree.
Jesus unites us.
Whatever our color, our country, our background, or even our politics, in Christ we must forgo our initial differences to state that we are Christians first and foremost. We see this in John 17: 11-13-Now I am no longer in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to You. Holy Father, keep through Your name those whom You have given Me, that they may be one as We are. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled. But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.
In Christ, we are bonded with superglue. Though He is no longer in the world, through the name of Jesus we are ONE. We are a federation that can outdo any one Star Trek explores. Jesus’ feet, once walking on earth, now reminds His Father that He claims us and yearns for us to experience the oneness with the Father that He already has.
So, what then about:”None is lost except the son of perdition that the Scripture might be fulfilled”? Psalm 41:9-Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. John 13:18-I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me.
Jesus knew the heart of Judas could fall prey to Satan. I believe He also hoped that Judas, having been a part of His ministry, would have a change of heart up until the very last minute. After all, God allows us free will–but in His omnipotence He also knows our choices. Jesus knew, deep down, the path Judas would take–and I am sure it grieved Him just as it still grieves Him today when people refuse to embrace Him.
The strain of His burden is showing in this prayer. He sees the end of His days here on earth fast approaching. His burden of work, His message of God’s love is almost concluded. But Jesus never forgets that while He has come to unite, He knows that His sacrifical death will also divide.
His intercession for us with His Father is an admission that points to His acceptance of the knowledge that although through Him we will glimpse the fulfilled joy of being ‘right’ with God Almighty, this same knowledge will bring the very real conflict conflict between our worldly life and our spiritual life.
It is so easy for us to take the path of division.
Satan spreads division as the wind blows sand. Division between friends, neighbors, countries, states, laws, families.
It is so easy to hate; to speak against; to dismiss those we disagree with as fools.
We must fight our ‘human’ nature each day to work on becoming focused more on uniting ourselves with God’s spirit. It is a battle that goes on from the moment we accept Jesus as our Savior until we breathe our last–for as Satan battled against God and lost while endeavoring to entice as many of God’s human creations as he can to his side through sin, Jesus sacrificed Himself to remind as many of God’s human creations as He can that they way back to God is through love.
Peter Jenkins began walking across America in the belief the knew what this country was like and how it would react to him. He became a changed man because of people who impacted him along the way. Christians are changed by our very unity in the one who commanded us to first honor God, and then love one another.
Grow up…but do so by reminding yourself that the light in us comes from our desire that Jesus, himself, continues to pray for us to know His joy in being one with His Heavenly Father!