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Sunday, March 25, 2012


I love the C.S. Lewis book, “The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe”.  Outside of the Bible, it may be the book that best illustrated to me what the gospel really means.  When Edmund betrays Aslan and the “deep magic from the dawn of time,” the price of that treason must be paid in order to preserve justice and goodness.  And yet out of goodness, love, and a heart to be in unhindered relationship with Edmund, the powerful, majestic, perfectly good Aslan, although innocent, humbles himself and willingly pays the high price of Edmund’s treason.  Aslan’s painful and perfect sacrifice defeats death itself and makes a way for Edmund to live and to be in relationship with Aslan.  Edmund and Aslan are reconciled.  This brings great joy and peace to Edmund.

The gospel is all about the fact that we, through the death of Jesus, are reconciled to our perfect and good God—in whom is our every delight! 
In light of this gospel, as Christians we should live with a heart towards reconciliation with our brothers and sisters.  Yet over and over again as Christians and as churches, how many times do we take the path of least resistance when conflict arises---allowing relationships to fizzle out, breaking off relationships altogether, self-righteously judging from afar, aligning ourselves with the popular majority, building walls around our hearts…rather than doing the hard work of love.  These are our instincts.  These are my instincts (most especially in marriage).  How this dishonors the gospel that saved me!
Love pursues, love engages, love acts, and love hopes…even if it requires great sacrifice (and it usually does).

Dear Lord, convict our stubborn hearts!  Open our eyes where we are blind.  Help us to see where we are dishonoring the gospel of love!  Fill us with the Spirit that we would have your eyes and your love for others, even those we find difficult to love and even when it costs us greatly to love.  Give us the power, courage and conviction to do the hard work of love.  May we be so rooted in your sacrificial and grace filled love that loving others in the same way becomes more and more natural to us.  In Jesus name, Amen

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