Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Deserted, But Not Deserted

As a disciple of Jesus, know that Jesus will never desert you.  But know also that as a disciple of Jesus, should Jesus gift and call you as a prophet, Jesus will always desert you.

Not everyone is deserted.  Just prophets.

You can be a disciple even after you have forsaken, abandoned, deserted Jesus.  There is always forgiveness, restoration, and reconciliation available to you.  And Jesus will never forsake, abandon, or desert you.

But prophets… prophets must always be deserted.  Not deserted.  But desert-ed.  Not everyone has to go into the desert.  But prophets always do. 

Paul.  Jesus.  John the Baptist.  The desert mothers and fathers.  Elijah.  Elisha.  Moses.
Being desert-ed is not about discipline for a sinful way of life.  The entire company of Israel was disobedient and unbelieving, and they wandered in the desert for 40 years because of it.  But they were not all prophets, of that I can assure you!  But Moses was a prophet.  And he too had to experience the desert, yet for different reasons.  It is not that Moses was sinless, of course.  He, too, fell from time to time.  But as a prophet, consecrated to God and made holy, this is not what characterized his life.  Rather, what characterized his life was the experience of being desert-ed. 

For it was there, in that experience of desert-ion, that he became who he needed to be in order to best fulfill God’s desires for God’s people.  It was never just about Moses and what Moses needed.  It was about the people of God, the Least of These, and what they all needed, collectively, together.  The irony is that prophets are called into the desert alone in order to be shaped and formed into vessels that carry the burdens of many.

Paul instructs the ecclesia to “carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ” (Galatians 6:2).  And what is the law of Christ?  Jesus says it is to love God, yourself, and others with everything you are and everything you have (Luke 10:27-28).  Love comes first, and though love requires everything, love is all that is required.

Jesus gives different gifts to each disciple. God gives us the grace needed to live out these gifts according to the measure of grace needed to do so.  Whatever amount of grace we need, God gives, and it is always ‘just enough.’  For some, gifted and called to be prophets, the grace needed, and the grace that is supplied by God, is ‘just enough’ to endure the experience of being desert-ed.  But thanks be to God, we are never deserted.

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