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April Newsletter-Jesus Behold

Jesus Happens:
Now this is just my opinion, it and $4 might get you a Starbucks. Why didn’t God just sit down one guy (ok, or girl) and have him or her write the New Testament? Why Mathew, Mark, Luke and John? Why Paul? Using one author certainly would have simplified the manual and be enough to share one Message, one person’s opinion from beginning to end. To me, using 40 authors and 1500 years to share His story points to the Wisdom of God revealed again. The Creator knows the created, knows each is different from the other. And, God sees the beginning, the middle and the end all in one frame. To Him, each human life is like reading a novel, He can describe the current moment, the past, and look a few pages further and tell you the future. You’ve heard the phrase ‘all knowing’ applied to God all your life. Part of the all knowing/wisdom is being aware that each person will hear and see things differently. Result: Mathew, Mark, Luke and John each describing the same thing but in somewhat different manners. Because God was revealed progressively, I always prefer to read the Bible backwards. Paul is my go to guy, and of the four Gospels, I like to read John the best. Paul just speaks my language for some reason. I can say that about John, similarly. Simply put, Jesus happens when we behold him. Each Biblical author’s writing is in so many ways trying to permit that to happen to whosoever will.

I need to express what I’m not saying. I’m not saying all the world’s religious belief systems are the same or OK. I’m not saying all are right and made for each individual. Abram was a moon worshiper until he found the One True God. Then Abram dropped everything and followed Yahweh. Knowing God, Abram became Abraham or Abram with the name of God attached (breath). This God was not one from Abram’s imagination. Likewise, the God that is I Am is not a morality or an ethic. Yahweh is not simply a God defining Good and Evil. He’s Creator. He knows all things; He is Wisdom, Love and the One God, only true God. We can make up many gods, most often creating them in our image. But He (Father, Son and Spirit) existed on the other side of creation, sits outside of what we refer to as the cosmic universe.

I had a friend years ago suggest to me that the writings of Mathew, Mark, Luke and John were similar to each looking at a different side of a mountain; same mountain but each author was expressing a different way of describing it. It’s interesting that God had 40 authors write Scripture. Each is describing the same thing but in a different manner. The four Gospels seem like that to me. It’s interesting to read the first red lettered words in each. They are all different. Jesus’ first statement in Matthew is about Jesus’ role of fulfilling Righteousness. In Mark the first Jesus statement is about the Kingdom of God. Luke’s first red letters refer to Jesus being about His Father’s business. And, my favorite, is Jesus’ first words in John, ‘What do you seek?’ My favorite because the original language implies this is a question, not posed just to the disciples, but to every man/woman ever birthed. Sometimes I listen to the music we play and realize that one song speaks specifically to a person and it’s possible that 3 minutes later another song will hit home with someone else, meeting their unique needs. I have no idea how many times I’ve had a song come across my desk and think to myself, ‘That’s not really what I was looking for or imagining,’ but I go ahead and send it through anyway. And when it rotates it gets more calls than the 10 other songs I added that month.

The Bible is written to reveal God to us but also written to reveal God in us. It’s His attempt to share Who He is and also what He does. It’s the manual to learning how to participate in our salvation. It’s God’s attempt, through what Jesus did, to tell us what’s true about us. Jesus is referenced all the way from Genesis through Revelation. The Bible is inside surgery. It heals us from our heart outward. I once had a small surgery and they left the wound open, no stitches. They told me they did that because the wound heals from the inside out. God’s healing begins in the same place, He is in us. It’s interesting that, as far as I can remember, all Jesus’ miracles were transformations rather than creations. He took broken things and changed them to healed things. He redeemed the already existing into the new. Even in the first words of Genesis:
Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created (bara: using non pre-existing material) the heaven and the earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was (i.e., became waste and ruin)( has reference to Ezek. 28:11-17) without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved (brooded) upon the face of the waters.

That story of the beginning of heaven and earth was true about creation and it’s a story that remains true about each of our lives as well. Originally, we were created to be in the relationship with God; Adam voided that environment and Jesus’ work recreated us from the material of our old state into a new one. Again, he takes broken things and transforms them into redeemed/healed things…you and me.

For over 30 years at WBVN we have had the opportunity to experience what we have in common with our listeners and concert attendees. Jesus is common to each. Many may have some differences in expression, just like Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, but all are believers, each perhaps just using a few different words to express that love for God. Here, we do not try to discover and push our differences. I have a dear friend that, when he and I talk about the Gospel, the vocabulary we use is not very similar at all. He loves God passionately; he proves that every day of his life. We both know God and we each express the God that we agree sent Jesus, raised Jesus from the dead, and shares Heaven with an alive Jesus right now. As those four Gospel writers did, each of our expressions permits someone to hear the Gospel in their unique manner. Like the different songs, each person has the opportunity to respond to DC Talk’s ‘Jesus Freak’ or Christy Nockels’ ‘Holy Over Me’. Remember when Jesus said, ‘Who has ears to hear, let them hear’? You know they all had those little floppy things on the side of their heads. But, what Jesus was saying was, in spite of all having physical ears let those that can mentally/in their hearts hear this. Some could, some could not; but to those that could, do so. I think he was saying, I’ll find another way, use different words, a while later for the others. Scottish author and Bible teacher George McDonald once said, ‘In the future we will be amazed at what we now believe about God. Until then, we can give others respect and grace until we come to truly fully beholding Him.’

One of my favorite BVN things to do is sell concert tickets out of my office. It’s an opportunity to meet people who listen to the station. They represent many denominations stopping by. Never once a question about which denomination they or I hang our hat on. I’m very grateful for that. We each have a library of experiences and expression about the Gospel but none of that separates us from one another. In these days we live in, it seems important that in the very near future Christians are going to have to gather together, respecting one another in order to protect one another. Differences which are associated with which side of the mountain we’re looking can simply melt into ‘Jesus loves me, this I know’. As Big Daddy Weave sings, ‘I Believe’ we all can have that in common.

Posted on by Laura Posted in Uncategorized

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