Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Betrayed by a kiss:

I think too much, I know, it is dangerous and I can’t help it. What is worse is that sometimes, (a LOT of the time) I say what I am thinking. This is one of those times, so hold on for a ride on my articulated mind. With little to no sleep last night, and time alone to think on a walk in town, some thoughts slipped into my head that seemed crazy, even to me. These last few weeks have been a roller coaster ride, much like my mind. Today during my walk, like a piece to a strange puzzle, the betrayal of Jesus by Judas popped into my mind. I thought about that kiss and what that meant apart from and within the context of which it was received. Although, that wasn’t as crazy as the next thought I had (If you make it past this point you need to commit to staying with me to the end). The next thought I had was “I have been betrayed by God with a kiss.” Wait a minute! Heresy! Blasphemy! Just darn right crazy talk! God does not betray his children, let alone with a kiss. Or does he?
I would propose that we are all enemies of God and at the same time dearly loved children (It says that in the Bible- Isaiah 64:6 and 1 John 3:1-3). I would also propose that we are baptized into Christ’s death and are buried with Him (Paul said that somewhere- Romans 6:3-5). There is a part of being betrayed with a kiss that is both law and gospel. Being drawn in with such an act of love by God himself requires an equal violent act of killing since that which is Holy can have no part in that which is sinful. How does a Holy and righteous God draw in a sinful human being; He betrays that sinful man and by covering him with another death; his righteous and Holy son. It is a betrayal of that sinful man that is an enemy of and at war with God, and a calling forth of that saintly person whom God has made and is making us to be in Christ. Only God could take such righteous judgement and use it to totally chastise and draw in simultaneously. 
The ironic thing is that the physical kiss doesn’t always come from God, but from His people. A kiss where the sinner and saint (Simul justus et peccator) remain but the betrayal convicts us and attempts to arrest that sinful part and selfish desire within us.  A member of the church requested to have a house blessing yesterday. These particular members had been living in another home for a month in order to convert their tin walls into cement. They didn’t have much, but they were so thankful. There was also special seating for this blessing of which I was asked to take a seat. I can’t even begin to express how amazingly honored I felt to be asked to sit at the front of the house like that. I had done nothing to deserve it and the reception they gave for me, the love, the attention, the hugs, and yes, even the kisses reminded me of that denial to self. It reminded me, as that individualistic person who wants to cling to her individual time, space and identity, that person has no place in this world (that being the D.R.). This world, where people open what meager dwellings they have and share everything without hinderance. This world, where people leave their front doors open and a seat ready for hospitality. It is a whole new world for me here, just as Bethlehem was a whole new world for Christ. The only difference is, He entered in to show what it means to deny yourself, take up your cross, and share in the suffering and rejoicing of others. I myself am entering into learning from these people on a daily basis what it means to be betrayed by a kiss in all divine love and sacrifice and to daily put to death that person who has no part with a Holy God.     
ROMANS 6:1-4
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.