The Paradox of Holiness.. and peace
Devotional thought of the day:
I have often heard that the Bible isn’t a reliable book, because it is not logical, because what it says isn’t rational, it doesn’t make sense, indeed it goes so against our grain, that it is easy to dismiss it.
Following Jesus is full of apparent contradictions, for as Paul says, the foolishness of God confounds the wisdom of the wise. The paradoxes are those that just are stunning, yet, as the Holy Spirit brings us to trust in God, what appears isn’t that they are less than logical, but that they transcend it. For example:
It is in dying with Christ, that we find life.
We find peace and hope, not in the absence of trauma and pain, but in the midst of it.
We find righteousness, not in our our works, but in confessing that we are not righteous.
Perhaps my favorite paradox is the road to holiness. For it lies not in seeking perfection, but in realizing our brokenness. To think we can attain holiness by work, by sweat, tears, discipline, that is the road of most religious systems, and every self-help system that I have ever encountered. But while I would encourage everyone to discipline themselves, the goal of that discipline is not holiness, but rather – to keep focused on the fact that we are, in Christ, Holy.
We become so, not by our effort, not by our sacrifice, but in our brokenness, in our realization that we cannot discipline ourselves enough, that we cannot sacrifice enough, that we cannot work hard enough. All of those efforts, on their own, simply persuade us to live a lie, to hide our brokenness, our shame, our…failure. And so, exhausted, empty, broken, we do not refuse the hands that pick us up, the hands that heal our wounds, though they bear nail scars, though the eyes that look on us with tender mercy and love are surrounded by a face disfigured and broken by thorns and beatings. Despire the disfigurement, the eyes look into us, and heal and make whole, and yes Holy.
From His brokenness, we find the healing for our own brokenness. For it is in His death, we find life, abundant, free, joyous, unburdened life….
We find something so mysterious, so incredible, so mind-blowing awesome. In Christ, the broken are made holy.
No more hiding needed, no more facades, no more games, just Jesus. Just His holiness and glory, transforming us into His image. (2 Cor 3:16ff)
That will never make sense to a world that tries to keep its eyes closed, its ears blocked to that which it cannot comprehend….unless they see it, in the brokenness of those Christ has healed… unless they hear the joy of those who found comfort in the midst of brokenness,
For those that found a peace beyond logic, comprehension, understanding, that Jesus brings to them… and keeps us in.
May we find joy in our brokenness, as we cling to the Hope given to us.. in the arms of the One broken, so that we are healed.
Posted on September 7, 2012, in Devotions and tagged brokenness, foolishness of god, healing, Holiness, Jesus, joy, paradox, road to holiness, self help system, sorrow, spirituality, St Francis Prayer, theology. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.