Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An offer

Like the manna in the wilderness, if we try to keep our holiness to ourselves, it will grow sour and rancid in us. But if we have learned Isaiah’s lesson—that holiness is not an end in itself so that we can revel in our own purity, but is for the sake of others—then our lives will be like the widow’s jug of oil which kept pouring out an unending steam of bright, pure oil. Then we will be free: free to love; free to serve; free to give; free to be self-forgetful. Then we will have begun to realize the purpose for which God made us. Then we will know that “You must be holy, because I am holy” is not a demand, but a wonderful offer.— Called to be Holy, page 199

<idle musing>
Why do we do that? Why do we take an offer from God and make it a demand? Wesley used to say that every command of God is really a hidden promise—if God commands something, then that means he is obligated to make the power to fulfill it available to us!

Quite the freeing thought, isn't it? The first time I read it, I had to go back and read it again to make sure I understood what he was saying. It takes our concept of God and turns it on its head. God isn't a demanding ogre, but a loving Father, always reaching out to us, always making the offer to come home. But we think home is a trap, a jail. We'd rather sit out in the cold rain and bewail our rough circumstances than come in and sit by the warm fire. After all, if we do that, we might have to actually talk to God! Imagine that!

We truly are foolish, aren't we?

By the way, that's the final snippet from this book. Not sure what I'll be extracting from next, but we'll find out tomorrow, won't we? : )
</idle musing>

No comments: