Monday, April 4, 2011

Monday's Meditation: A Boss Your Heart Message

Thank you, Kirsten Walkup, for today's message!

Jesus Wept by Kirsten Walkup
It’s so easy for someone to become absorbed in their own life. We have hopes, dreams, joys, sadness, triumph, and failure that can so thoroughly consume us that it’s easy to forget that there is a whole wide world out there that exists separate from ourselves. With careers and families and the circle of friends we maintain, isolating one’s self from the outside world and wrapping our hearts in a protective cocoon is such an easy thing to do. Most people are very careful and selective about those they let in their life and to whom they choose to show love. To love less is to hurt less, and loving only those who are less likely to hurt us minimizes the chances of being hurt and betrayed. Living a life of self-imposed communal isolation is also one of the surest ways to ensure your Christianity and faith to be sterile and lifeless, ineffective.
John 11:35 is one of those scriptures that’s easy to gloss over as an almost inconsequential part of a larger, more meaningful story. If you ask most people who populate a church pew on Sunday, I’d say most wouldn’t have the slightest idea as to what the scripture is and if they did know it, they would know it for the same reason most people do; it’s the shortest scripture in the bible. “Jesus Wept”. Yet that short succinct passage is a powerful scripture with a powerful message.
The story behind the scripture is one of great familiarity to most Christians and I have been surprised by the amount of non-believers who are also familiar with the story of Lazarus so my summary will be brief (as brief as I can be, anyhow). Jesus’ friend Lazarus had become sick and Lazarus’ sister, Mary, sent urgent word to Jesus that Lazarus had fallen ill. Despite his friends’ need, Jesus stayed where he was for a couple more days; he then returned to Judea, where Lazarus was. Before he arrived, Jesus was already aware that Lazarus had died. Jesus had allowed this to happen so that God could be glorified through an even greater outpouring of His awesome power.
Nevertheless, when Jesus returned to Judea and saw the outpouring of grief from Mary, Martha, and the contingency of Jews that there on Lazarus’ behalf, he felt their pain as well. John 11:33 says, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled.” I’ve always found this to be striking because I firmly believe Jesus knew exactly what was going to happen when he got there. Being fully God, He knew He was going to go down to the tomb, have the stone rolled away, and raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew there would be joyous celebration for God’s glory being revealed as well as the lost being returned yet he still felt compassion for those who were hurting and overcome with sorrow. For the sorrow of others, for the broken hearted among Him, and because of the tremendous grief and pain of those around Him, Jesus wept.
Even though He was (and is) the Word made flesh, the hope and peace for all mankind, Jesus still had a place in His heart for the concerns and hurts of those around Him. He didn’t erect an impenetrable wall around Him so that he wouldn’t have to deal with the “little people” and their inconsequential problems, nor did He try to make them seem irrelevant. No, when Jesus was in the presence of those who were hurting, it made Him hurt as well. Their pain became His pain, their sorrow became His sorrow, and their tears brought Him to tears.
When we wall ourselves off from the rest of the world and become callous to the hurting of others, we negate the opportunity to become more like Christ through the way we live our lives. Yes, it’s difficult and sometimes painful to share another’s grief and bear another’s burden. Yet in doing so, we demonstrate one of the greatest examples of Christ’s love that is possible; the willingness to shoulder a burden that is not our own for the sake of another.
Galatians 6:2
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ
Boss your heart!

No comments:

blog comments powered by Disqus