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Make your own the mind of Christ Jesus

by davesandel on March 5th, 2012

Monday, March 5, 2012

Monday of the Second Week of Lent

Luke 6:38

Jesus said, “Give, and there will be gifts for you: a full measure – pressed down, shaken together, and overflowing – will be poured into your lap; because the standard you use will be the standard used for you.”

Maybe there’s little that’s logical or pragmatic about giving, about “paying it forward,” about using a generous standard when I measure out what I give.  But Jesus said this so often and in so many ways.  So did Isaiah, Confucius, Buddha and Mohammed.  The idea is not “Christian” so much as it is moral and ethical.

I don’t think Jesus is extending me a carrot here.  He isn’t saying, “This is how to get what you want.”  Jesus wants me to understand that this is the only way to live.  The global community of men and women are blessed when I give generously, and I am blessed when others do the same.  When everyone decides to be a servant, there is nothing to protect and there is nothing to fear.

That this “ideal” seems distant changes nothing, because it’s still the only way to live.  Living rightly results in righteousness.  This can either be called humility, because it is, or exaltation, because it is.  The emptier I become, the fuller I feel.  So I feel less and less need to be filled.

I am grateful to be a Christian, because in this fullness I can follow Jesus straight into the world.  When I give myself up and get down in the mud, our brotherhood is more and more real.  What does Jesus say?  “When I was hungry, you fed me.  When I was in prison, you visited me.

“That was me, David.  That was me.”

Jesus, you did not count your equality with God something to be grasped.  You emptied yourself and took the form of a slave; you accepted death on a cross.  Let me work out my salvation, Lord, sometimes trembling sometimes strong.  Shut up my murmuring, and let me become one of your pure, unspoiled children.

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