Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Dance

I"m reading Tim Keller's The King's Cross and already after just chapter one, I'm impressed and enthralled. I wanted to share this excerpt with you. You really have to read this book!

"In the Garden, Adam was told, "Obey me about the tree - do not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, or you will die." Why was that the temptation? As I said earlier, God created us to orbit around him, to center our lives on him. When God says, "Don't eat, or you'll die," what is our first response? "Why?" But God doesnt' explain; if you obeyed God because you understood what he was doing and how it would benefit you, then you'd actually be stationary. You'd be saying, "Okay, it makes sense. I understand why I should obey and shouldn't eat from that tree; yes, of course." God would be a means to an end, not an end in himself.

God was saying, "Because you love me, don't eat from the tree - just because I said so. Just to be in relationship with me. He and Eve failed their test; and the whole human race has been failing the same test ever since. Satan never stops testing us. He says, "This idea of self-giving love, where you make yourself totally vulnerable and you orbit around other people -that'll never work."

In effect, the same thing happens to Jesus in the wilderness. Though Mark doesn't tell us what Jesus' temptation is, Matthew's Gospel does. His account (in Matthew 4:1-11) basically says that Satan tempts Jesus to step out of orbit around the Father and the Spirit, and around us. To make sure everyone else centers on him, and to protect himself. And of course this temptation doesnt' actually end with the literal wilderness: Throughout the remainder of Jesus' life he's assaulted by Satan, and the attack comes to a climax in another garden, the Garden of Gethsemane, the ultimate antigarden to the Garden of Eden.

We look at Adam and Eve and say, "What fools - why did they listen to Satan?" Yet we know we still have Satan's lie in our own heart, because we're afraid of trusting God - of trusting anybody, in fact. we're stationary, because Satan tells us we should be - that's why he fights the battle.

But God didnt' leave us defenseless. God said to Jesus, 'Obey me about the tree" -- only this time the tree was a cross -- "and you will die." And Jesus did. He was going before you into the heart of a very real battle, to draw you into the ultimate reality of the dance. What he has enjoyed from all eternity he has come to offer to you. And sometimes, when you're in the deepest part of the battle, when you're tempted and hurt and weak, you'll hear in the depths of your being the same words Jesus heard: "This is my beloved child -- you are my beloved child, whom I love; with you I'm well pleased,"

Page 11, 12, 13...... the last few paragraphs of chapter 1. Tim Keller's The King's Cross: The Story of the World in The Life of Jesus

1 comment:

  1. How intersting that these types of discussions are built into the everyday fabric of parenting...I would love it if sophie would say, sure mom, without the question. And sometimes I look forward to the questions and discussion that follows...Curiousity, today she said, "I'm just curious mom"