fredag 16. september 2016

It is about pain

The three first words have become standard in the headings. It creates a continuity which is important, but it is easy to forget what “it” is. “It” refers to the main focus of my dive in the ‘Well of holiness’ – which of course is “holiness”.

Is it correct that holiness also is about pain?
If it is correct that holiness is linked with the ‘other’ trinity (1), the answer must be: “Yes!”
A disciple with focus on the mission will also know God’s pain for those experiencing pain and suffering.

A couple of days ago, I wrote: 

When Moses was told to take of his shoes because he stood on holy ground, it was not because it was a meeting between God and Moses – it was even more about the third party: God’s chosen people (2).
It did not take long time before Moses heard God say: 

I’ve clearly seen my people oppressed in Egypt. I’ve heard their cry of injustice because of their slave masters. I know about their pain.
Exodus 3:7 CEB
I am convinced that Moses could feel the same pain as God felt. If not, Moses was not part of the 'other' trinity. Holiness is about identification with God and those whom he loves.

When I teach the subject of holiness, I have asked people if they think mother Teresa’s face looks “holy”, and if they take time to reflect, a majority normally say “no”. The same people are very likely to have mentioned her as an example of holiness. 

Personally I think her face is marked by pain. To feel God’s pain is a natural consequence of living with him in the world. We can feel it. Here is an example:

In March 2004 I asked a dear colleague who looked terrible: “Are you ill?”

“No”, he replied, “but I have watched and wept with God all weekend! He weeps over mass destruction, and I have seen terrible things happen. I even heard God say the name of the assassin. I think he must be a dictator in Asia.”

He had written the name on a note and wondered if I could confirm that there was a dictator by this name. I read the note and had to admit that I did not recognize the name, nor new the meaning of it. Nine months later the whole world knew the meaning of the name. On the note was written “Sunami” (3).

‘Manna’ for today:

God cares for people - therefore holiness will also be about pain. (4)
(1) The ‘other’ trinity = God + disciple + the world
(2) See “It is about holy ground”
(3) “Tsunami” – phonetically the ‘t’ often disappear in Norwegian.
(4) Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Rom 8:17

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