To abide in Christ Jesus, for me is a fruitful concept to meditate upon. Abiding is not always a pleasant experience. In times of temptation for example, we can experience or Christian walk as a burden. The freedom that we are called to abide in, to bear with, is the freedom to love, forgive and heal others, as well as encourage them.. It takes away from us the luxury of labeling others in such a way that it protects us from their humanity, uniqueness, as well as their suffering. Jesus did not hide from the pain of others; in fact he took it on, what does that mean for us Christians, for me especially who hates suffering.
When anger, contempt and stereotyping are in play, it can act as a wall of protection from seeing ourselves in others, in their pain, isolation and their many forms of suffering. It lessens our own humanity, for sin is a way that is used to escape the most central truth of life….that others for us, especially those we do not identify with, those with which we have a natural antipathy towards, are in fact for us an encounter with Christ Jesus. For me it is a hard aspect of carrying the cross of Christ Jesus. We are called to love beyond family, tribe, race and religion.
I am not a teacher, so when I seek to explain my faith, I do so as far as possible in a gentle manner. I am aware of my limitations. I believe that we all plant seeds in the souls of everyone we meet. These seeds mature either bearing good fruit or bad. We either help others on the way, or hinder them in their pilgrimage through life. So to abide in Christ Jesus, means for me to face that which is within me that imprisons me, from the freedom of this true abiding in God’s all embracing love and hinders me in sharing it with others.
Mindlessly quoting scripture, or seeking to use scripture to prove a point to someone who is not a Christian is a waste of time. However to share scripture, to bring forth from scripture the ever deepening relationship with Christ Jesus is another matter entirely. In that we share, we do not teach, at least I don’t, for that is for those with the gift of teaching.
We all have to abide somewhere in the depths of our souls. This abiding leads to deeper love, joy and healing, to a death to the self that naturally leans towards inner chaos and fear. Or we abide in prejudices and bitterness, in contempt and hatred, which has its own species of suffering and death.
I let go of the burden of trying to judge others, for we are told not to judge for a reason. It is easy to forget that when we judge others, on some level, we are bringing judgment on ourselves. Those who have the gift of teaching may be able to use avenues of communication that will actually help others, but for those who don’t have this gift, then we can harm and wound others and perhaps impede them in their seeking after the truth.
If we do not pray for all, bring all of humanity before Christ Jesus and his mercy, then how can we help them when we meet them on the way…..Christ Jesus in disguise. Jesus sees us through the eyes of all that we meet, feels our love or not, in how we affect their hearts. For the reward of love, is to love more, to have deeper compassion and love and empathy for the suffering of those around us I believe is the path we are all called to.
O Lord Jesus,
it is easy to see you
in the smile and laughter of a child,
or to have compassion
when they suffer.
Help me to see you
in those who are different,
outside and isolated,
help me to understand
that all I meet
Is a meeting with you.