For a long time I used Jesus, Jesus to make me happy, bring me success, sort out my problems. I became a consumer of all things Jesus. Then I stumbled upon a simple truth. The chief aim of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. For so long I thought it was for Him to glorify me! The chief character was Tom, not Jesus. Then I realised that God should be the consumer and I should be the consumed.
I’m thinking about all this as I’m reading through the book of James (the half-brother of Jesus and the leader of the Jerusalem church). He desribes himself as A SLAVE FOR GOD. Note how many translations have softened the word to servant
I know God loves me and that He calls me His friend, but I can only claim that reality when I serve him in the nitty gritty of life. Today’s reading from the Bruderhof community illustrates some of what I’m saying:
It is not love in the abstract that counts. Men have loved a cause as they have loved a woman. They have loved the brotherhood, the workers, the poor, the oppressed – but they have not loved man; they have not loved the least of these. They have not loved “personally.” It is hard to love. It is the hardest thing in the world, naturally speaking. Have you ever read Tolstoy’s Resurrection? He tells of political prisoners in a long prison train, enduring chains and persecution for the love of their brothers, ignoring those same brothers on the long trek to Siberia. It is never the brothers right next to us, but the brothers in the abstract that are easy to love.