Saturday, March 9, 2013

I have chosen you

Whenever I walk in my front door, my eyes fall on, among other things but firstly, a modest ikon of the savior of the human race, the God-man Jesus Christ, who is holding an open book on whose pages is written ‘Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you and ordained you that ye should go and bring…’

I know what the rest of this bible verse says, but I like the way it seems to trail off, to remain incomplete as it were, demonstrating many things. That God’s work in us is not finished. That His kingdom is still open to new members. That His is the choosing, but ours the bringing, of souls into that new life.

That not only those we are told to ‘go and bring’ but ourselves as well, did not choose Christ but were chosen by Him. Though we think that we ‘make a decision for Christ’ and though in time and place that is what we do, it is only because He chose us that our ‘choice’ is possible. Not that we love God…

But that He loves us, not just now but for always, from before we were born to after we leave this world, He loves us. He chooses us. He ordains us. Yes, we are as scripture says by the hand of holy apostle Peter, a royal priesthood and a holy nation. These truths come before all others that we have taught or learned.

And it both humbles and amazes me that I am saved by nothing that I initiated, not really, but only by what the Lord has done for me, treating me as if I were an only son, and that salvation itself is nothing I could ever have earned, thought of, or even wanted, and nothing that I can ever lose. It is indelible.

But only as long as there is paper for that Word to be indelibly written, only as long as there is a soul to be redeemed. What looks at first like being sold as a slave, baptised as an infant, snatched away like a captive, turns out in the end to have been instead a royal proposal and an acceptance of marriage.

The poorest of the poor is chosen by the richest of the rich who makes Himself very, very poor indeed, in order to become visible in a very poor world. Every human thought, desire, even love is shown to be an inversion of what it is meant to be, and so He comes into our world to turn it upside down.

‘I have chosen you and ordained you that ye should go and bring…’ By this He makes us partners in every work that He does, that we may make Him our Partner in everything we do. Every work. Every thing. Every thought. Every desire. Every love. ‘Ye have not chosen me but I have chosen you…’

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