It's my Sabbath, finals are next week, and when I need the spiritual uplift the most I'm home sick with the flu.
So I'm taking this bed-rest opportunity to bring my brain on-line, and as I ponder I'm sharing this with you:
Jesus didn't live the "perfect life."
What a scandalous thing for me to say, isn't it? But think about it again. Exactly what was there in His life that was perfect?
His mom was pretty special, that's to be sure. Great gal that Mary, if you overlook the part where she was pregnant before she got married. Bit of a thing for her family and friends to overcome there, eh? Thankfully the Christ Child was not aborted, and thank goodness for good men who can be awesome step-dads.
But then there was the little snag with tax day and long commutes and over-crowded health care facilities in a strange town... oh wait they did home-births back then, didn't they? It's bad enough to give birth in your car, but this woman did it in the hotel garage with an audience of animals.
Some greeted Him, praising His name on the steps of the temple, seeking Him from lands unknown. Some saw Him as a threat, and just to be sure He was killed, killed an entire cohort of Jewish baby boys.
So His life as a refugee began, and though I have no proof of what the Gaza strip was like back in Roman times... how many political refugees in the middle-east manage to build a good life? (No-matter which side of the Abraham question they are on.) His step-father somehow found work in Egypt to keep them alive until it was safe to go back to their extended families.
The Bible tells us that Jesus grew and waxed strong in the favor of the Lord, but every kid gives his folks a massive heart attack at least once, and Jesus was no different. Joseph's usually-so-obedient step-son went missing, and with no Amber alert or nightly news, after three days of searching, they found Him. He had a good reason for going missing, come on mom, but then my kid seems to think he has a good reason for every crazy thing he does too. Like Mary I really don't get what he is thinking half the time.
Mary's troubles didn't stop there. Sure her kid had a knack for catering, water into wine, and boy could he stretch a loaf of bread, but how many nights did she lay awake worrying? He was out there hungry in the desert, on stormy seas, consorting with lepers, Samaritans, Romans, and ticking off some very powerful people. He had a habit of walking into town and turning the whole place on its head.
His cousin John was the same way, and look where it got him.
And yeah... they got Him. One of his closest, one of the few who SHOULD have loved Him, betrayed Him. They took Him, they bound Him, they lied about Him, they accused Him, they spat upon Him, they beat Him, they mocked Him, they denied Him, they condemned Him, they drove Him through the streets like an animal until He crumbled to the ground, they stole the clothes off His back, they drove nails into Him!
As she stood at His feet, He opened His eyes and saw her face, beloved mother so tortured.
Yet in His agony... even in His agony, He did the right thing.
Christ did not live the perfect life. His life was HARD. It was hard from conception on. It was bitter. It was impoverished.
But He lived life PERFECTLY.
He spoke out against evil.
And He lived again.
My life is so much easier, and I am so much worse. So often I fail to do the right thing. So often I choose the easy path instead of the right path.
So today, on my Sabbath, I'm recommitting, as I have done thousands of times before.
I will love.
I will lead.
I will forgive.
I will speak out against evil.
I will heal.
I will sacrifice.
I will teach.
I will live for Him until I die.
And then I will live again.
Because of the man who lived life Perfectly.