3.24.2011

The Gardener

I love the book of John.  It’s full of so much.  For the last couple weeks I’ve had a passage pressing on me.  Today I’m going to share not only the passage but the realization I had today in my delay in posting about it.
First, the passage; John 20:10-18.  In my Bible this section has the title “Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene.”  My favorite part?
15 ““Woman,” he said, “why are you crying?  Who is it you are looking for?”  Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.”  (Here comes the cool part…) 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”  (Did you just get goose bumps?)  She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means teacher).”
There are SO many cool things about this passage to me probably because I can see so much of it evident in my own life.
First, in verse 14 Mary sees Jesus but she doesn’t recognize him.  Am I the only one that has been there?  Obviously for Mary it was actually Jesus but in Matthew 25:35-46 Jesus tells us, hopefully, ‘For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you come to visit me” (35-36).  It makes me wonder how many opportunities I’ve missed to serve Jesus.
Second, while Jesus’ response to Mary completely applies at the time, I imagine it differently now.  “Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me…”” (John 20:17).  If this were today I imagine Jesus saying pretty much the opposite, “RUN after me! Pursue me!  Hold TIGHT to me!”
The most amazing part of this section that gives me goose bumps every time I read it is similar to the last post, If You Knew. 
“Jesus said to her, “Mary.””
Jesus said her name.  Jesus called her by name!  Not “Woman” or “My child” but “Mary.”  And can you imagine his heart and face when he called her?!  I can just feel such love and compassion pouring out of him for her.  I like to imagine that she felt it too and that is what prompted her to turn toward him.  I think it touches so deeply because it shows so beautifully Jesus calling us by name.  Personally.
Can you imagine HEARING him call YOUR name!?  He does! He calls ME by name.  (John 10:3 “He calls his own sheep by name…”).
What would you do if you heard him call your name? 
Would you turn and look?  Would you cry “Teacher!”  “Abba!”  “Master!”
Or would you just cry?
When I picture this, I see Mary throwing herself at the feet of Christ, bursting out in sobs, even more so then before, that go far beyond any hysterical sobs I’ve mustered.  Not only has she seen Christ but he has called her, by name.  
And that's just part of it.  There is so much contained in Jesus just saying her name.
The even better part after Jesus calling her by name?  She responded.
“Eryn.”
“Yes Lord?”

Now for the realization I had today regarding the delay in posting.  We are all called and we must respond in order to continue to hear from God.  We must LISTEN.  Prayer involves a conversation with God not word vomit on him.  A relationship with God involves listening to Him and his desires and passions as well has sharing with him ours.
I feel like lately God has given me the words to share on my blog and I hope that they have done what he intended them to do.  This was another word I felt God wanted to share; that God was calling me by name.  That he was calling you by name.  It occurred to me today that there is some one who would discourage that from being shared with people.  So, after realizing this today I determined I can not go another day without posting this topic.  You lose this round.

3.15.2011

If you knew.

I have been reading through John lately and there are very random, small words that have been beating at my heart. Today I had set up to read John 4-6. Not more than 10 verses in I was hit.

John 4:10 “Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew…’”

The verse goes on and tells an excellent story but today I didn’t need to go beyond that point.

“If you knew.”

When you become a parent all of a sudden all the descriptions of God as a parent make sense. None so much as this, “If you knew.”

If you knew…that would hurt.
If you knew…how much it hurt me.
If you knew…this to would end.
If you knew…what was waiting around that corner.
If you knew…what I offered.
If you knew…my power.
If you knew…my peace.
If you knew…my love for you.
If you knew…I am right here.

If you knew.

God broadsided me with these three simple words today. It’s not profound or surprising information. Most days we would fly over these three simple words while reading. Most days we know. We know what the day will consist of. We know how we’ll get to work (or wherever we need to go). We know what we’ll have for lunch. We know where our family will be. We know. We think we know. So do toddlers.

But these things we do know:
“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” Job 19:25
“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
"…Know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

We know these things but if only we knew.

I’m relieved that my salvation is not through things I know. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith…let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,” (Hebrews 11:22-24), “Now these three remain: faith, hope, and love” (1 Corinthians 13:13).

My salvation is in Christ and what he knows, now I strive to know Him.