Friday, April 10, 2009

Being a Lover of the World

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life."

--John 3:16

On this Good Friday, this scripture had a new meaning for me. In the New Testament the world is defined as the system of things that are contrary to the Kingdom of God, God's way of doing things.

Considering the global crisis and what caused it i.e., greed, disrespect, selfishness, disregard, arrogance, etc., I had to admit that "God so loved the world that he gave" Christ as a sacrifice. We too should love the world and sacrifice.

While there remain many reasons to rail against any unjust system and to demand change, there is also something to be said for letting go of our personal pitchforks that poke both ways; there is no sustaining life there.

Blood flows. But not the sacrificial kind.

We want to fight in a manner that does not attack people, but the system upon which many are allowed to prosper in their ways. This is not meant to say that there should not be consequences for actions. There should be.

But at the heart of all injustice is faulty thinking driven by negative forces.

"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places."

--Ephesians 6:12

These "principalities," "powers" and "rulers of darkness" in "high places" are often elevated within our own minds, creating unproductive imaginings and thoughts, that exalt themselves above love. This gives way to "darkness" and "spiritual wickedness."

God is love. His way is light.

If God so loved the world that he gave, we should give love while we insist upon change, beginning first within our own minds.

Love is often not without pain and struggle; it often means sacrificing for a just cause. Do this in love.

"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

--Philippians 4:7

Be a lover of the world and give. "For God so loved the world that He gave."


CathM said...

Great EASTER reflection, Judith! By the way, you've been 'tagged' (smile)!

judith ellis said...

Thank you, Catherine. I'll check out the tag too! I hope all is well with you.

John O'Leary said...

Nice piece, Judith! Brings to mind the 4-Fold Franciscan Blessing, which I just came across this morning:

judith ellis said...

Thanks, John. The "Four-Fold Franciscan Blessing" is a beautiful. Have a great weekend.