more about this sight

"you're packing a suitcase for a place that you've never been...a place that has to be believed to be seen"...'Walk On' by U2

WATERSHED: A voice in the wilderness. DARYL UNDERWOOD.

 

The concept of Centerpoint Christianity briefly stated is:

Christianity from the centerpoint outward.

Christianity from the climax forward.

This blog constitutes concepts for a new view of Christianity that begins with what is foundational and moves forward from that point. It is based on the assumption that we are being pulled towards something unseen and pushed from a place that once was.

What Centerpoint Christianity attempts to do is bypass some of the constraints imposed by metanarratives by using the life of Christ and particularly the climactic actions of Christ as beginning points.

It supports the conviction that God is essentially timeless. From this beginning point we endeavor to move outward from the definitive moment of the parousia (visitation) of Christ and forward to the future which functions as a type of magnet to "what can be--and is coming".

When we begin at the life of Christ and move outward as from the centerpoint of a web, rather than in a linear timeline of history, another wide picture emerges.


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Friday
Apr032009

macroview

This is the story of love. This is the story of God. It begins with a confession from the heart which says, ‘It is not good for man to be alone’. God knows that statement to be utterly true for He has experienced that as reality. God knows it to be true but we do not.

So God will show us.

This is what the Bible is about.

The One and the other are called (for our understanding) man and woman. Man and woman are, in a sense, literary characters created to reveal something quite extraordinary. Even physicality is a device, albeit with functionality. Man and woman will be the device God will employ to show us what love is---who He is. Even the word He is a misnomer since gender is a created term to express an inexplicable deep mystery.

For example, when Jesus is asked if there will be marriage in heaven He replies, “At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage; they will be like the angels in heaven” (Matthew 22:30).

They will not be male and female. They will, of course, be One. The intimacy of the two becoming the one is an enormous part of what we must learn if we are to ‘know God’. Male and female is the Creator’s way of helping us to understand what “oneness” can be like.

It is the closest metaphor we as humans can come to understanding love and One-ness or completion.

And God said, ‘Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: …So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him: male and female created he them.’

The words here are very important. God is a ‘we’, an ‘us’. The addendum clause ‘male and female created he them’ denotes a clarification or correction to what precedes it. Male and female will represent in terms we can begin to understand and relate to—a mystery that is far beyond our flesh or physicality.

In fact, love borders on being so beyond this sphere of fallenness where we live and move and have our being, that when we somehow taste of it, we can’t find words to adequately describe it. Love seems to go beyond this world. It is real, we can recognize its aroma, but somehow unreal, foreign, difficult to embrace, or put into motion.

Love can be sung about, taught about, pondered over, dreamed of, told of, felt, experienced, but never really completely grasped.

It is mysteriously found in another and is somehow so divine that we call a spiritual experience.

Love is what God is. Love can not be love unless it finds its expression in another.

God is One... with another... bound by a third

The 'third' is what we know as the Holy Spirit. The role of the third is to preside over. Terms that describe the Spirit in scripture are descends, broods over, rests on, moves. The Spirit is that mysterious element that holds this thing together. If you have seen the movie Australia you would recognize the spirit in Nella (i.e. Mama say, I Galapa. I magic-man. I wizard-man!) . One of the most compelling lines in that movie is spoken by the mystical child who has brought Drover and Sarah together..."Mrs. Boss, I sing you to me...".

God will show us why we long for another to somehow complete us. We are entirely social. We discover who we are when we experience our self through exchange and interaction with another. The ‘third’ presides over this dance. The 'third' empowers the relationship with an energy far beyond our imagination.

We are made for this.

That should come as no surprise to us if we believe we are created in the image of a God who is love.

So the Bible is written to tell the tale of how God loves so that we might love. When the last song is sung Jesus states it pointedly in John 17:21-23 when He prays,

'that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one'.

And in order for the tale to be told in a way we could grasp God chose one to love. 'You in me...and I in you' could only be understood as two becomes One. God chose, as a means to reveal love, a particular bride to court. He called her Israel. She was the apple of His eye. She was His beloved. She was the object of His affection. She is the other in the love relationship--the other in the covenant. She was the other side of the covenant promise.

She broke his heart. She humiliated Him. She tarnished His reputation.

But in the prestige, the surprising moment, the twist, she ‘came back’ and was restored. After all was said and done with the last breath, the final thread, the Lover proved faithful. And she redeemed God’s reputation. She honored His fidelity. She proved faithful to the covenant. Allured to the wilderness she emerged through the valley of Achor and became a door of hope for the entire world for all time.

She is Israel. And their 'home' is temple. And they tabernacle (break bread, have intimacy, share life) together in this 'home'. Temple is where God and Israel 'come together'.

And Jesus becomes this temple and they dwell here. And we are invited in. By Grace--we are invited in this place, this realm, this room, this chamber.

And when you enter the room you can hear the strings play. Gracefully. She moves through the fair with beauty on the dirty streets in a city of doom. It comes down in the City of God. It reaches the point of climax in Jerusalem on a single day, in a moment that has been coming for a long time.

And here.

She saves Him. And He saves her right back.

She is—Jesus. Israel as God intended her to be. This is who Jesus saw Himself to be. If Israel could not fulfil the covenant, display love to a watching world...then He would.

'Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.' Jesus was speaking of himself. They may have heard physical Jewish temple. They thought they were Israel. In the final analysis they were not. Jesus was the true Israel that was found faithful. This is the message of the cross. When he died in physicality, in flesh, the old temple, Israel died with him. The new Israel was born again three days later.

This is the perspective of Jesus.

He, as the remnant, is true Israel. This is what the final Passover meal is about. Jesus takes the elements of old Israel's story and reenacts the story in the breaking of the bread and pouring of the wine. He is the Lamb. He is the bread. His is the blood that saves the people. He reenacts the exile in the journey to the cross outside of the 'city of God'. He embraces the 'promised land' through His resurrection. He becomes Israel again.

He, God, is born again.

And…

She carries a pearl in perfect condition

What once was hurt
what once was friction

what left a mark
No longer stings

And the hurt and friction born of her unfaithfulness is no more for Him. And the marks that was left on her hands and feet, and even the final sting that desperately sought to drive them apart—is no more. ‘O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?’

And they are at long last--One. And this is what we long for. Universally. This is what we want. It is deep inside us all. There are but a few that cannot be rescued because their wounds are too many.

Most are still looking. They will find what they are looking for. The thirsty will be satisfied. This is what God has wrought.

Crossroads

I woke this morning with Don McLean in my bed. Not in a literal way. No, He came somewhere in the night and slipped songs in my subconscious. I imagine them as the songs of God, songs of Jesus, songs of man, and finally, songs of me. I consider all things are spiritual and God is always somewhere near me, speaking, in movies, songs, scenes, emotions, and words.

And my mind has been singing these songs all morning. The songs are gifts I can’t help but hear.

CROSSROADS

I’ve got nothing on my mind: nothing to remember,
Nothing to forget. and I’ve got nothing to regret,
But I’m all tied up on the inside,
No one knows quite what I’ve got;
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be,

I’m not

Anymore.

Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now
And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.

Because

I’m all tied up on the inside,
No one knows quite what I’ve got;
And I know that on the outside
What I used to be,

I’m not

Anymore

At the close of the Old Testament, referred to as the Tanakh from the translation of the Jewish Scriptures, I imagine God as a bit weathered by the weight of the world and his ongoing unresolved conflict with His chosen people Israel. He is all tied up on the inside, stomach in knots, quiet, a bit withdrawn. She has pushed him to the limit. What He was in the initial stages of the lower story was so different. What He used to be, brash, confident, and young—He’s not anymore. The walking of the road has beaten him down. The many miles have made Him weary. He sings the song to Himself and They listen together. Then He turns and speaks to Her--actually to the One we know as Jesus, for God is One, saying;

“Can you remember who I was? Can you still feel it?
Can you find my pain? Can you heal it?
Then lay your hands upon me now

And cast this darkness from my soul.
You alone can light my way.
You alone can make me whole once again.”

And the Other, which is always at His side, a faithful friend, responds and rises up voluntarily in support of His Soul mate. She is a friend like no other. She is a lover. She is unlike Job’s friends who accuse and place blame on the broken vessel that sits here with them. No, this One is unlike any other friend. She understands the wounded God and will touch Him and “complete Him”.

So intimate this relationship.

In the final scene of "Pretty Woman" starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere, Edward Lewis, the prince turns to 'Cinderella' and asks Vivian:

"So what happens after he climbs up and rescues her?" To which Vivian replies; "She rescues him right back."

This is the best ending for all true love stories. We rescue and save one another. We need one another--male and female. I imagine this exchange and relationship between God the Father, more male than female as we will see and God the Son, perhaps more nurturing, female, as we will see. He is not necessarily a she, gender being neutral in the realm of God, but 'she' carries some of the sacrificial qualities so prevalent in the feminine face. And Jesus comes 'out of' the bosom of the Father God much like Eve came out of the side of Adam.

So for the sake of imagination let's envision God as the wounded, weathered, character in the film, Edward Lewis. He has made a name for himself by conquering others. He is a conquerer but He is so unsatisfied. He really wanted to be a builder, a creator, and never dreamed of being a rogue. One who plans takeovers and sells off others for profit. He is at a difficult stretch in life and needs a change, his successes have a steep price.

Somewhere, somehow He has lost His way.

And let's imagine for a moment, realising the shortcomings of analogy, Jesus as Vivian. Vivian comes and lays her hands on Edward to relieve the tensions. Edward, like God, is renewed, given new life, new perspective. He is for all intents and purposes 'born again' by her touch. He opens up. He takes his shoes off and actually walks in the wet grass.

New life.

And yet at the same time Vivian is rescued by the prince. She is also set free, raised to a new place. Made alive. Rescued. Vivian wants to be Cinderella. This is a love story lived well.

In the same way I can see Jesus. He lays his hands upon God and heals the wound, He lays His hands upon us and heals us, He lays His hands upon creation, upon all things and casts the darkness from our souls. Coming from God, He is God, and He is about the “setting God free” and unraveling His wounded heart. He is close to God, the begotten Son of God, the final faithful friend of God, and of man, and of me, so close He and God are actually One. One came out of the bosom, the side of the other, so close as to be One.

He, or she, is Jesus. Healer of wounds, repairer of the breech. Hero. The rescuer and rescued One, all at once.

She alone can make God whole once again and restore life in God’s beautiful creation. And only God can 'save Her right back' which, of course, He does when he raises Jesus from the grave itself.

In this One, Jesus, new life comes forth. New creation begins. And new starts are filled with grace. We can walk barefoot in the grass and feel good. And God needs Jesus and Jesus needs God.

And I need Him, too.

Because I’m 'all tied up on the inside and no one knows quite what I’ve got'. It's true and I know it. Call it mid-life crisis, or what ever you please, I just know that the road I’ve taken in life to set me free hasn’t delivered. You see, the journey has weathered me and what I used to be—I am not—anymore, either. No longer so brash and confident, but a bit more tentative and thoughtful. And it’s true for us all. We hit this quiet crisis and try to work it through. Our plans have not gone as planned. Like God as he sits in the crisis of the silent close of the Old Testament, Tanakh, we think.

And that is all right. Because He is still saving me—and the crossroads I’ve come to is getting clearer. The fog is lifting and I can say with Paul, not the Apostle, but the Beatle—'It’s getting better all the time' because slowly, but surely, it is. I am working it out. But it is so uncomfortable for those around me. I think they fear for me. When I look deep into the abyss of my soul will I come out ok?

The second song that Don Mac Lean gave me with this morning is Vincent. It is a song about Van Goth who was driven by his sadness to finally end it all. In it I see familiar patterns. This is: Like God. Like me. Like Jesus. We do long for it to end, to go away for the chord to resolve to a major. And upon the end the beginning rests. It is a fine line between the darkness and the dawn. I love the imagery.

VINCENT

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frameless heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can't forget
Like the strangers that you've met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
A silver thorn, a bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Jesus has been called the Ragman, a titled bestowed by Walter Wangerin’s tale of the same name. He is the Ragman, and even more the Raggedy Man, the Son of Man, the Son of God, a son given, who represents all mankind. And He is God who watches the world with eyes and can’t forget, who inhabits the distressed who can’t forget, who sees it all with empty, hollow eyes. You can find Him in those to whom you give a cup of cool water, or visit in prison, or feed. He is in them for they are His image. The least, the last, the lost, all those frameless heads on nameless walls, He knows them and sees them and can call them by name. They are beckoned to His side so that they can know Him and live. The elder son in us resists. But He stills beckons—come out of the field, with its thistles and dirt and its devils and dust and join us inside at the celebration called redemption and resolution.

He, Jesus, God, me, you, we are all a bit ragged you know. No matter. Jesus, on the cross, saves us all. And He saves himself as well. And the rags one day all fall off.

What we shall see is that He resembles Van Gogh, who is the subject of this song Vincent. He is like Vincent when He, in a maze of confusion, not so much His, but others, experiences a type of suicide. He doesn’t commit it as much as encourage it. Perhaps martyrdom is a better choice of word. This Man, who is confusing in His multiplicity of character, takes His own life, or is it Israel’s, or Satan’s life, and brings it to its end? I know it is always a bit more politically correct or theologically kosher to say that He lay down His life.

But I believe something.

Something which says He is more intentional in this event than just that. He is not a victim but He is victimized. What we will see is a man true to his vocation. He believes and enacts just what He says—unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies.

Jesus is the bloody rose that lay crushed and broken on the virgin snow. The snow is new fallen and virgin, unstained. The one who McLean sings of. The spirit that haunted, in a positive sort of way, Vincent VanGogh. And the 'world was never meant for One as beautiful as You' is true of Him. The suicide is sudden. This all happens quickly. Abruptly it comes. On one day it is done.

Zechariah 3:1 Then he showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan [1] standing at his right hand to accuse him. 2 And the Lord said to Satan, “The Lord rebuke you, O Satan! The Lord who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Is not this a brand [2] plucked from the fire?” 3 Now Joshua was standing before the angel, clothed with filthy garments. 4 And the angel said to those who were standing before him, “Remove the filthy garments from him.” And to him he said, “Behold, I have taken your iniquity away from you, and I will clothe you with pure vestments.”

5 And I said, “Let them put a clean turban on his head.” So they put a clean turban on his head and clothed him with garments. And the angel of the Lord was standing by.

6 And the angel of the Lord solemnly assured Joshua, 7 “Thus says the Lord of hosts: If you will walk in my ways and keep my charge, then you shall rule my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you the right of access among those who are standing here. 8 Hear now, O Joshua the high priest, you and your friends who sit before you, for they are men who are a sign: behold, I will bring my servant the Branch. 9 For behold, on the stone that I have set before Joshua, on a single stone with seven eyes, [3] I will engrave its inscription, declares the Lord of hosts, and I will remove the iniquity of this land in a single day. 10 In that day, declares the Lord of hosts, every one of you will invite his neighbor to come under his vine and under his fig tree.

'There’s a fine line between the darkness and the dawn…they say in the darkest night there’s a light beyond'. Lyrics courtesy of Jimmy Webb. The fine line is a thin life amongst many lives and the light that has invaded the darkness. In the end He is the fine line that separates the living and the dead.

Paul Simon sings that “God keeps His eyes on us all” and He does. But not in the way we have been told. He is not Big Brother of George Orwell fame. He does not lean upon me, like He seemingly does to those who believe that sort of thing imagine. The God of our fathers may have presented Him that way but it’s inside out. He doesn’t lean on us—we lean on Him.

As the Ragged Man, He comes and takes on the shame of all the broken hearted. He is the High Priest Joshua, (a translation of name Jesus), the One who is crushed and broken from the silver thorn and bloody rose, who is bleeding on that cross for all the brokenness of the world gone mad. On his shoulders which stretch from one end of this timber to the other, rests all of the pain of the fallen lower world. Sin is found here and now resides here evermore. And here is where its protagonist breaths his last breath.

When it is “over” God raises Himself up and enters His rest.

Come to the door my pretty one
Put on your rings and precious things
Hide all your tears as best you can
Try to recall what used to be

Roses are waiting for dewdrops to fall
Climbing your windows and walls
Bells in steeple are ringing, singing
Listen to them talk about your love's return --Gordon Lightfoot, Your Love's Return"

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.

The movie, City of Angels, is haunting. I was first turned on to it when I spent a week with worship leader composer Brian Doerksen in the mountains of Colorado. In a casual exchange he had indicated that the musical release of the songs contained in the movie constituted one of the best CD’s he had ever heard. I took notice. Brian is intuitive and thoughtful. He is a superb musician. I bought the album and watched the movie again. It sank into my consciousness. While I do love the music form the soundtrack the message has begun to have a profound impact on my thinking.

Seth (Nicolas Cage) is considering ‘falling’ to the earth because he wants to experience ‘touch’ with a human named Maggie (Meg Ryan). Human touch, the kind the Bible unabashedly describes as ‘knowing’. In the story the draw becomes so strong that Seth ‘gives up’ eternal to taste human relationship mitigated in sexual oneness. The enticement is that powerful. The lure is impossible to resist. The concept appears to have ‘new age’ written all over it. Most evangelical Christians would reject it outright as a stretch and frankly an almost absurd notion.

It isn’t.

The more I consider it from an eternal holistic view of the unfolding narrative the more I am drawn to the concept. What is really stunning is how stories and songs grasp this concept so fully, so intuitively. Hollywood often 'gets it' and isn't afraid to portray that which we all long for. Not all that comes from the studios is redemptive but some efforts are downright revelatory. When we listen to the artists we hear the echoes of life whisper God's name--His story is found in so many other stories.

The reality is God desires and blesses the immersion of creation into One. When He says it isn’t good for man to be alone He knows that from an ache inside. The trinity shouts about this reality all the time. Jesus doesn’t just know God—He ‘knows’ God and is One with God. The scripture imagines the emergence of the love affair of God with the essence of feminine which emanates from his side, his ‘rib’, in the form of the Christ. God longs for the completion in the unfolding of the narrative. Several times He speaks of his lover, His beloved, His bride in scripture. These are not so much anthropomorphic descriptions as anthropopathic emotions.

They reflect the ‘guts’ of God. 'She' comes from the bosom of God, God's side; the rib of God. God in masculine form is completed by she in feminine form. They are the picture of completeness.

God, in the story that unfolds, shows us what we crave when He reveals and invites the feminine into His life. God reveals as time unfolds the completion of the One in male/female compliment. Did He know this before in His realm? The answer is more than likely, yes. Do we know it? Most emphatically no—but we all want it. It is universal drive to seek to be ‘known’ in this way even if it is found in brokenness. We are made to be completed.

This is a key theme in the unfolding narrative and in our emerging world. One is not made to ‘rule’ over the other as ‘the gentiles do’ but to serve one another as the Christ and the masculine God ‘does’. Societies that have become ‘civilized’ have embraced this mystery and are closer to working this out than more primitive ‘paternalistic’ cultures.

It is truly a mystery.

She Emerges

I am not an egalitarian. Not about equality, in relation to gender, as in tit for tat. I don’t even know how to spell it. No, I think we can do so much better by letting the “otherly” come together as One and marveling at the wonder of that.

How little we care as little boys. They are unnoticed or even troublesome. We make signs to keep them out of our forts, rules to keep them out of our lives, and soon…walls to keep them out of our hearts.

They are the girls.

But in time she comes out and how embarrassing, “completes us”. I ought to be careful employing that phrase, isn’t that just the ultimate chick movie line? What if other guys heard me? Of course, in my insecurity I would have to try to hide my impulse, my desire. You can't let your warrior side down lest they, "men", castigate you and toss you out of the club. Yes, to finally come to terms with the notion that she completes me is humbling.

Truth to be told she finishes me.

This, by the way is so like God.Yes, I am referring to the all powerful, Almighty God.

Try this on.

At the beginning of Scripture she appears to be a nuisance. She, the feminine is the problem, the cause that got us into the mess. She suggests the eating in the garden which begins the lower story, that will eventually, after we have walked this long and winding path, elevate us to a new place, a place that has to be risked for, to be believed in…to be seen.

God instinctively gets it. At this point she is second rate if noticed at all. And God is always the masculine at the onset. It is always, no matter what modern interpreters try to do, God is He and He is God. But the 'scent of a woman' is in His nostrils and he is being pulled forward, enticed, and invited into a new place where He has never wandered. He has never been here before. He longs. She draws. He is being clued in. This is the narrative we know.

Initially in the story of God she is such a distraction, a liability, as in "Rebecca, why do you talk Jacob into stealing the birthright?", and as a result easily becomes the “fall guy” in scripture. To put it bluntly, she is not respected and somewhat tangent to what is going on. When she enters she is often a prop or a pain.

“Sara you laughed”

“No”

“Yes you did”,

“But, you know it is funny; do you really think you can pull it off?”

“Why, yes, of course”

And so He does pull it off. She makes sure of it just by the way she is…it is beautiful “the way of a man with a virgin.” It is hard to understand. Indeed it is unlike, as the fourth stanza in Proverbs 30:18-19 declares, this one phase standing alone, or triumphant over the other wonderful, majestic, intriguing things--anything else in the world. Nothing compares to the mysterious way of a man and a woman.

Listen.

Proverbs 30:18

Three things are too wonderful for me;
four I do not understand: the way of an eagle in the sky,
the way of a serpent on a rock,
the way of a ship on the high seas,
and the way of a man with a virgin.

Three things and a fourth that is even so great as to mystify the author. And man is made for a woman and she brings life out of him. She draws out the masculine and then helps tame the violent, testosterone charged edges. Touch me, softly, she says. I have heard that, too.

As the story moves on, the lower story, she is coming up, being brought up, ascending, more and more.

Getting more ink in promising roles. For example, Hannah gains this conversation with God. And He responds kindly to her. I don’t want to shock you but that is a first. Until this moment that role had been the sole right of the boys, Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Joshua and such. Hannah who loves is here and God is noticing.. “When she moves into the room you can hear the strings", man, is she graceful, gracious and grace giving. She is complimentary, soft, it is something she is adept at, and He responds, is drawn to her, something He is natural at.

This has untapped potential.

And she moves “into the fair” from cameo roles, to character roles, to starring roles. In fact as we watch this phenomena unfold we see something very enlightening. God gets accustomed to her and learns from her. She is Wisdom of the book of Proverbs--so listen to her, she is the hero of Esther, using her beauty to save, just watch her work for it is really a thing of beauty, and then, she is the faithful companion named Ruth, who sticks with Naomi, risks in a new land, covers Boaz’s feet, who wouldn’t want to “save her”…in fact, have offspring with her. She is so attractive and interesting. The beautiful story of Ruth and Boaz is, of course the story of true love, of vulnerability and protection, of trouble and triumph, of serving and being served, loved and esteemed. Boaz wants to 'cover her with his garment'. She wants to hide in his hand. He wants to ransom her--she needs to be ransomed. It is the perfect love story. What happens when the prince climbs the tower and rescues her. She rescues him right back. 'As it was in the beginning is now until the end--woman draws her life from man and gives it back again--and there is love'.--The Wedding Song by Noel Paul Stookey.

"He can't live with or without her." And God, in the revelation, the unfolding of the narrative scripture is really beginning to discover something, a new love within.

And he soon loves openly, no ‘keep out” sign here, in the book entitled The Song of Solomon. This is a place unexplored and exciting, here romance rules. It is fresh, and makes the heart skip, it just feels good. And, of course, less we miss it, God is singing that song. This comes at a dismal, disappointing period in the Tanakh as to emphasize its importance. It is as if this is saving God, entreating God to keep on. It is also and more likely mainly about 'us'.

Why does He sing? He is singing because…she is a bride, His bride, You, we, the gathered church, are a bride…His bride. Am I making this up, is this making any sense? He, she, God, Jesus, the King and I. Esther the woman who saved all of Israel. Jesus and the church. Draw your own conclusions.

He learns how to sacrifice, He is tooled for it. He becomes more accustomed to her influences and reflects her, or does she reflect him? I suppose it doesn’t matter what the children look like, whose image they reflect, they are ours. Soon He is comfortable with saying tender things that are a little feminine, not “you complete me” but still motherly, like “would that I could gather you up as a hen gathers up her chicks”. Would that who would gather up? Are you my mother?

This man’s man, the Lion King, the warrior of Exodus, has just called himself a mother. It’s O.K….in fact, it is good.

Because they are One. Male and female He created them. And they were created in the image on the One God who is.

The feminine softens the brash, confident male, seeing an insecure child beneath the bold bravado of maleness, she speaks, and then waits, for him, and soon He answers, rightly.

At the end God appreciates her in Him. She may have been lifted from Adam's side at the creatures urging but the Creator has discovered her in His bosom as well. She sort of snuck up and it really surprises him.

In reality, she becomes the ultimate treasure, the bride, the equal focus in the now reconciled God at the table at the Wedding feast of the Lamb—who is notably softer than the Lion. Here God is now at peace and, well, less aggressive, yet strong, really strong. And together they lay down. They don't face off. They lay down. She is with him and He is with her.

They are in “love”. They are “One”. This is heaven.

They are the epitome of where we are going. The "fourth that He does not understand" is with God. And He is helplessly, hopelessly, recklessly, falling in love.

Isn't that one of the primary reasons He clings to the cross. There He will redeem her, pay the bride price, build the house, write the letters, put all the cards on the table. It is here where the spear pierces the side of the Man and the woman comes back in. And they are One at home, at ease, at peace. It is The Story and when it goes well our story. We, both male and female, long for this in all cultures and societies, in stories and songs, for all time. It is from God, of God, in God. There, at last again, they are found to be naked and unashamed. It is a moving metaphor that lingers and hangs above us lightly touching down when things are at their best.

They are in “love”. God and the Woman. They are “One”. This is heaven. It is really all quite sexy, without all the fallen lust that clouds the purity of the deal to 'fallen' mankind (being both male in female).

I am not an egalitarian. Not about equality. I don’t even know how to spell it. No, I think we can do so much better by letting the “otherly” come together as One. Gdo has shown us the way over and over again in sliding repetitive refrains.

 

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