collage |kəˈlä zh; kô-; kō-|
noun. a combination or collection of various things.
As I said in the first post, I am been working through Wilfrid Stinissen’s little book, Into Your Hands: Abandoning Ourselves to the God Who Loves Us.
In it Stinissen offered us what he believed to be the central organizing idea that encompasses and integrates all of the spiritual life of the Christian believer: The abandonment of all we have and all we are to GOD.
As I confessed, I am not doing well with this concept. Quoting myself (is that legal?): “As a pastor, I often see people in the raw and life within the context of brokenness. I see a woman experiencing her second Mother’s Day without her six-year old daughter; I see a widow walking through her first Mother’s Day without her spouse; I see a woman outside, leaning against the church wall, drunk and retching.”
We are in the time of Holy Saturday. We are in the time between death and life; the time of waiting and hoping against hope.
Well, I was uprooted again by this idea of abandonment, and was basically forced to add part 2 because of one of the New Testament Lectionary readings for today (5.15.11):
“But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps. "He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth." When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:20b-25 NRSV)
I am especially challenged by the part of the text which reads: “When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.”
Clearly, the writer would have us know that Jesus was able to endure suffering -- the abuse and the threats -- because he had, “entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.”
Here’s the question: When did Jesus do this? When did he entrust himself to GOD’s justice? Before the cross or after it was almost over?
Was it, “Not my will but yours be done”? Or was it, “Into your hands I commend my spirit”?
I do not know, but this must be the picture of abandonment; this entrusting oneself to the one who judges justly must truly be that which brings the peace that passes understanding.
So, how do I find this internal peace when the world rages at war with itself and the wolves seek the sheep and the hollowness inside my own soul gnaws and scratches? Am I able to still hear the great “shepherd and guardian of your souls?”