Easter is a tough time for me... so is Christmas... I get torn between three cultures... the world's culture.. the religious culture... and where I have been living these past couple years... in what I would call a Kingdom Culture... if you are interested in how I see all three of these... please read on... perhaps you will be able to understand my struggle.
The world's culture is pretty simple... it's all about be happy... spend money... party ... our whole economic system depends on lots of holidays and reasons to spend money and be happy even if we are miserable. The struggle comes in all the choices I need to make since America is where I live and it is the culture that surrounds me and all those we love.
Since I am not all about "Be happy.... spend money... party" I need to hear from the Lord just what I do need to do or not do... like Christmas Trees... gifts... cards... Easter eggs... all the stuff... the Lord didn't put me here on the planet to see how many people Philip can offend today... so it is a struggle... at what level do I participate.... how involved do I get?
The religious culture is the really difficult one for me. Since the holidays came about in the church when old Constantine made Christianity the State Religion in Rome... he needed something to placate the other religions so he created holidays to "celebrate" and tied them into the pagan holidays already in place...got the best of both worlds... anyway... a bad beginning was made much worse with what the religious systems have done to them over the years.
The reality of the doctrine of the birth of Jesus... His suffering and death... His burial, resurrection and ascension... are all so very true and real and wonderful... seeing how that doctrine is used to make people feel guilty drives me up the wall... I don't how many times I was reminded over the weekend in a zillion different ways... that I was responsible for Jesus death... that I caused His pain and suffering... that if I wasn't such a foul, sinful person... Jesus would not have had to go through all that He went through... so... feel bad about that Philip... stop all your sinning... straighten up and fly right... and by all means continue to realize what a piece of dung you are and that your heart is deceitful and desperately wicked... stay guilty at all times... beat your breast with several mea culpas and mea maxima culpas... accept all my punishment every time I screw up... and do whatever my religious system tells me to do in order to please the God I have so offended... cause if I don't... there will be more punishment.
The religious culture is majoring in minors and has lost... or never understood... why Jesus came and died and took on all the suffering. When God created us He had an incredible plan and purpose. He was ready for any and all circumstances coming out of that creation. Adam and Eve sinned. Blew it big time. So Father sends the second Adam in order to correct the situation so He can get on with His plan... His incredible plan to have a people for Himself that would manifest His very own life and presence in the Earth... a people who would increase and multiply and fill the whole earth with His glory... a people who would be a bride for His Son... God would have Himself His very own family... that looked just like Him... that walked and talked with Him all the time every day. That is God's major... it is the other side of the cross... it is in the resurrection and ascension...
Redemption is a very necessary... very awesome reality... but suppose... just suppose... it really is a minor that gets us back to the major? If we could grab hold of that it would change our lives forever.
The rejection issue I've been talking about would be resolved forever for us.... it sure has been resolved for me... I'll finish that thought next time.