April 7, 2010
Whose fault? Dad’s. It seems Dad dropped him. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Mt 27 v46
The Son spent the previous evening pleading with his Father to cover him. His Father heard every plea. He saw the tears – they ran down his face too. He loves his Son. The last thing a father wants – a son crucified. The nails. The cries. But when his Son said, “Your will be done”, the Father knew. The love of Christ was coming through – the love they shared. Another tear. He looked away. And said, “O.K.”
And we killed the Father’s Son.
The cost? Incredible for God. The benefit? Incredible for man.
Why? Man’s pre-existing condition. All of mankind was and is plagued with it. We are born with it. We will die with it. All have it. Not all know or admit it. Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned. Rm 5 v12
It’s like a cancer – eating away at life, until it kills. For the wages of sin is death… Rm 6 v23
Christ did not claim any constitutional rights. He never waved a bill of rights in anyone’s face. In fact, he gave up his rights, what was due him. He gave up his right to insurance. Became uninsured. Became man. And died to pay our premium – a premium made unaffordable by our condition. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. Jn 3 v16
The Father and the Son, through the Son, gave access to life for eternity. It’s available to all. It’s free. Such makes capitalism look socialist, but it’s not. Socialism fails because it does not recognize nor allow for man’s pre-existing condition – sin, which, interestingly, is also capitalism’s problem. Man is a greedy, look-out-for-me-first sinner. It’s profound that God’s government of choice for eternity is neither capitalism nor socialism. We will not be voting on God. He will be on the throne forever and ever.
Now it would seem that one who had come to know and experience love so ridiculous, so unfathomable, so outside man’s comprehension – a love that brought about a caring so extraordinary it would cost God the Son’s life – that one would see life, live life, love, and care differently than Joe Smoe. It would seem to follow that such knowledge of, and experience with, the love of God, would transform the life into something equally ridiculous – doing things that do not fit with being merely a Capitalist or Socialist or Republican or Democrat. To do things Glenn Beck, Maureen Dowd, Fox News, or The New York Times would not propose in their most entertaining of pompous shows or editorials. It would seem like such a person would feel so indebted for that which he was freely given, that which is priceless, that he would want to do the same for another – to love, to care – ridiculously.
I think we who say we follow Christ are missing the boat on healthcare, as we did initially with Katrina. The night I arrived in Baton Rouge I met a man who asked why I came. I said simply, “Christ”. He then asked without asking, “Where’s everyone else?”. He said sadly, “The church has been way too slow to respond.” They needed help desperately. People were dying in New Orleans. We were sitting on the couch watching the news as the blame game went on and on – government this, government that. Christ said, “Do as unto me.”
Last night on public TV there was a show on Mormonism. The Mormons were probably the most well organized and helpful group following Katrina. They had trucks heading to Louisiana from Utah before Katrina hit. They took it on themselves to do what needed to be done. The reporter interviewed a man from New Orleans who said he used to hate it when Mormons came to his door. Seeing what they did following Katrina, he said, with voice breaking, “Now I welcome them in with open arms.”
Is there not a reason so much of Christ’s life on earth was given to healing, to healthcare? A friend wrote a note pointing out all the hospitals with names that begin with Saint. We are his saints. (And New Orleans has her Saints).
We’re missing the boat by not getting out of it. It would seem that if God is God and one knew such, one would get out of the boat, stepping out in faith, leaving the “security” of a boat (one hole sinks it anyway – Titanic), to walk on water, to do ridiculous things for his glory. Like when the heavens declare Him:
God’s grace fits no political or economic system. It transcends politics and economics. It’s above. We are not first Republicans or Democrats or Capitalists or Socialists. We are Christ’s followers. We do the ridiculous. We live in and through grace. We engage the world while in it but not of it. Our home is not here. Our kingdom is not of this earth. Our future is life. To die is gain. What are we afraid of?
What would happen if we did the ridiculous? What if we followed him who we say we follow? What if we put our feet where our Christ is? What if we did like Jesus and told the Father, “Your will be done?”
What if we became the givers of grace, not just consumers?
What would happen if we counted insurance for others as more important than for ourselves? …in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Ph 2 v3
What would happen if we gave up our own insurance coverage to pick up coverage for a neighbor? …You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The young man said to him, “All these I have kept. What do I still lack?” Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” When the young man heard this he went away sorrowful, for he had great (insurance) possessions. Mt 19 v16-22.
What would happen if we sacrificed our health for another? By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brothers. 1 Jn 3 v16
What would happen to our healthcare concerns if we were not concerned about dying? For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. Ph 1 v21
What would happen if we took care of the healthcare needs of (gasp) the foreigner? The illegal immigrant? The Muslim? What if he or she were all three?
And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
But he, desiring to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and he fell among robbers, who stripped him and beat him and departed, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road, and when he saw him he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he journeyed, came to where he was, and when he saw him, he had compassion. He went to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he set him on his own animal and brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper, saying, ‘Take care of him, and whatever more you spend, I will repay you when I come back.’ Which of these three, do you think, proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell among the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” And Jesus said to him, “You go, and do likewise.” Lk 10 v25-37
What would happen?
We would not need the government to step in to do what Christ commanded us to do. All the condemnations, the demeaning posts and emails, the Nazi conspiracy theories, the accusations of lies, the worst-case-scenario competitions, etc. would be seen for what they are – OUR failures to be, to follow, to do as unto Christ.
And if we did?
People would come to glorify the Father. Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Mt 5 v16
People would come to see Christ and be “caught” up in him. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Mt 4 v19
And, Christ would probably roll over in his grave
…if he was still there.