During this time of the year while flowers and trees are stretching to the heavens in celebration of renewal from GOD, Christians the world throughout pause to deeply reflect about the Passion Narrative of Jesus Christ. While there is no event as momentous as Christ's agony and walk to Golgotha, a critical aspect of what it means to experience presence, pathos, and passion is overlooked if one does not consider that the Passion Narrative commenced with the birth of the Christ Child.
As we look at an amplification of the birth narrative, we are witness bearers to the reality that prior to the exit of Christ from both the womb of his mother and the womb of eternity, fear, debauchery, plans to abort, and interrupt prophetic fulfillment were on the minds of the masses, criminals, and even many in the Sanhedrian. Significantly, what is poignant about such a reflection is the reality that the presence of danger was as intimately interwoven with the life of Christ and his family as every other life event. This presence was just not simply unpurposeful nor incidental danger, but action manifested in love, sacrifice, and passion, namely, "DIVINE DANGER!"
Throughout the sacred text; i.e., from the book Genesis to the book of Revelation, we as the Beloved Community of GOD are petitioned to embrace the spiritual necessity as well as existential invitation of DIVINE DANGER. Oftentimes, DIVINE DANGER accompanies the life of him/her who thirsts, follows, and is compelled by the intimately transformative presence of GOD. However, the necessity of DIVINE DANGER summons anxiety and fear in the believer as we have trepidation that the requirements will be great and the cost quite high. We embrace the reality that an aspect of the spiritual experience is about euphoric rejoicing, but attempt to stay clear and avoid the aspect of the spiritual life that requires our embrace of DIVINE DANGER! The consolation of the journey accompanied that DIVINE DANGER is that you are NEVER ALONE BELOVED of GOD! ABSOLUTELY NEVER! NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS...GOD! NO MATTER WHAT DOES NOT HAPPEN...GOD! GOD does not lie neither does his word return VOID! Consequently, GOD is mandated by TRUTH to make GOD'S WILL manifest through the presence DIVINE DANGER. Simply stated Beloved, DIVINE DANGER is a very strong indicator that GOD is moving your spiritual life to "shutdown" obstruction and "breakout" abundant living!
While it is instinctive and a critical aspect of our human and animal nature to ensure safety and security, Christians must exercise authentic faith and trust, and resist the spirit of depression and a poverty-stricken spiritual life when DIVINE DANGER reveals itself.
Far too frequently, many of the Beloved of GOD are dismayed, while others are disconcerted, still even others abducted by fear when events and plans do not occur according to plan. Moreover, such distress is ignited like wildfire by the harsh reality when fear, disappointment, loss, and suffering occur when the Beloved of GOD encounter DIVINE DANGER being orchestrated within the confines of the faith community.
Throughout the Holy Writ, we are witness bearers to the reality that quite often a companion of transformation and spiritual enlightenment is the presence of DIVINE DANGER. What an ironic statement we ponder silently, even right now in reading this reflection. When we as witness bearers observe the interaction of Adam and Eve and their interface with the Tree of Knowledge, we witness the interplay of HOPE and DIVINE DANGER. When we as witness bearers observe The Call of Abraham, the promise to Sarah, and the Promise to Hagar from JEHOVAH, we witness the interplay of POTENTIAL, HOPE, PROMISE, and DIVINE DANGER! When we as witness bearers observe the plight of Joseph in having been left in a well, sold, and betrayed, we witness the interplay of TRUST, PATIENCE, GRACE, and DIVINE DANGER. When we as witness bearers observe the marriage of the Bridegroom with the Church as prophesied in the book of Revelation, we witness the interplay of GRACE, RETRIBUTION, VICTORY, FULFILLMENT, MERCY, TRIUMPH, and DIVINE DANGER. When we as witness bearers observe the lives of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Gandhi, Malcolm X, Harriet Tubman, Gustvas Vassa, unsung Heroes whose names never made history books, our parents and their parents [Heroes and Heroines who knew that they would not witness the manifestation of their labor, sweat, and suffering, but whose journey was filled with PRAYER PASSION that the sacrifice for those unborn would bear witnesses to GOD'S resurrecting power of his SON, a people, a nation, and a legacy that outnumbers stars in the universe], we witness the interplay of HOPE, FREEDOM, DETERMINATION, RESILIENCE, VICTORY, GRACE, and DIVINE DANGER! There are numerous occurrences of this reality. The poignant and compelling question remains: Why is it for some many Christians does this occurrence become disconcerting?
A Closer amplification of the text of Matthew, chapter 28 enables us to observe that CHRIST at anytime could have aborted the journey and ushered in instantaneous justice. However, that which we witness is CHRIST'S sense of purposefulness and his trust in GOD'S outcome instead. Nevertheless, the questions that we petition in the solitude of our solemn reflection are: 1) Why the crown of thorns? 2) Why the mockery and degradation? 3) Why the stripping? 4) Why the beating? 5) Why the mixing of sour wine with gall? 6) Why the casting of lots, 7) Why the interfacing of Simon of Cyrene? Beloved each of the seven inquiries are worthy of an individual "WORD." Consequently, in the forthcoming months, a Seven Part Reflection Series will be forthcoming entitled "Purposefulness, Passion, & Pain: Why?" Nevertheless, the short response that may offer a balm for the moment is LOVE; i.e., GOD'S LOVE!
As we look at current events, both nationally and internationally, injury, destruction, suffering, and the pleasure principle are all at pandemic levels. Sensitivity, patience, morality, the necessity of being our brothers' and sisters' keepers, the honoring of those in their senior years, the feeding of the hungry, team work, the sheltering of the homeless, the liberation of the oppressed, and the readiness to die to CHRIST are all being sacrificed, because the dynamic of DIVINE DANGER accompanies the aforementioned. We deepen our faith walk and our relationship with CHRIST when our journey is accompanied by the divinely dangerous. The spiritual life in CHRIST causes each of us to take risks, walk out on cliffs, venture down unknown paths, abandon that which is familiar and predictable, stand against the crowd, and remain loving and forgiving in the face of betrayals and trap layers! When we abandon the parameters of human reason alone and "tap" the consciousness of GOD, our lives become transformed in our realization that our lives are really not our own, but gifts birthed by the unfathomable love of GOD! DIVINE DANGER causes something to happen to us, with us, and in us as we know that victory and triumph can only come from divine intervention via the LORD! DIVINE DANGER provokes the Beloved to go to the mountain top, see the danger, and the carnal end while commensurately looking into the windowpane of eternity. Consequently, the Beloved is transformed like the face of Moses, the garments of CHRIST, The Underground Railroad of Harriet Tubman, The feeding of thousands by Mother Theresa, The walking on land mines to caress AIDS inflicted babies like Princess Diana, the liberation of the oppressed and DREAM for humanity of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., The willingness to venture down an unknown path like that Robert Gould Shaw and the Massachusetts 54 Regiment, The prophetic and reflective centering of Reverend Howard Thurman, The impact of symbol and the hero's journey of Joseph Campbell, The resilience to dare to dream like Oladauh Equanio, The quiet reflection of an inner spiritual life like Thomas Merton, The poetic and prophetic passion of melodious poetry of Kahlil Gibran, the displaced Hagar and her son Ishmael [because the Lord hath heard thy affliction Genesis 16:11], and so many others whose songs echo our encouragement in our collective unconscious!
In essence, Beloved of GOD, rejoice because DIVINE DANGER is the indicator that GOD has greater possibilities and blessings on the horizon for specifically for YOU! YOU are an aspect of GOD'S DREAM being fulfilled and GOD'S LOVE regenerating itself!
ISAIAH 55: 11
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
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