Grace and Peace to you.
“You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls.”
— Luke 21. 16-19
Only someone who believes in death and resurrection could say “they will put you to death, but not a hair on your head will perish.” Only someone who knows that life is more than flesh, that you are more than a personality, that Who You Are already exceeds your physical body, your earthly life.
We believe that Jesus was a real, earthly human being and at the same time divine, that he was a mortal and that there was also something eternal going on in him, something that even after his death was and is still alive today. Now if we can only see that the same is true of all of us.
And it’s love that makes us that way. When we love we enter into that eternal, divine part of us. When we empty our lives into the world, there is nothing left in us but God. Nothing can harm that eternal essence of us, nothing can defeat it or kill it. Thus as Paul says, “Love never fails.” So in love we stand with the poor and the suffering,we reach out to the despised, we give our love to those who cannot return it, we are in solidarity with those who are persecuted. (We won’t be persecuted because of what we believe, but because of who we stand with.) This is what it means to be Christ-like. It is to die and be raised in love.
There’s not much comfort for those who say, “Give your life to Jesus and problems will be solved and you will be happy.” No, give your life to him and you will suffer. But you will also become more fully your true self, your God-given self, your your divine and eternal nature. You will gain your soul.
Copyright © Steve Garnaas-Holmes