Love, which is the complete dwelling of God in those who by means of dispassion are pure in heart, for they will see God. To Him be the glory forever. ― John Climacus, The Ladder
On a day set apart to listen in silence, the last day, I serve only to ensure that his words live.
Two angels facedown, wing tips to wing tips over the body laid upon a slab of stone, which is now the foundation stone of the City of Life and Garden of Peace. The custodians of the Word whispered in responsive repetition to unify their intelligences and wills. United, they avowed the last embodied words of his earthly ministry in aboriginal flesh. They enunciated until the tomb’s stone walls whispered in responsive testimony to a stony world and unborn assemblies of those yet to come to hear. In reflection, those called out embody his words in their flesh as living stones… who are sculpted, inscribed, and mediated by angels. In fulfillment, in further ways and greater things, reborn through infinite ages, we are heard to the end.
“Whom are you looking for?”
“Whom are you looking for?”
“I told you that I AM. So if you are looking for me, let these men go.”
“Put your sword into its scabbard. Shall I not drink the cup that the Father gave me?”
“I have spoken publicly to the world. I have always taught in a synagogue or in the temple area where all the Jews gather, and in secret I have said nothing. Why ask me? Ask those who heard me what I said to them. They know what I said.”
“If I have spoken wrongly, testify to the wrong; but if I have spoken rightly, why do you strike me?”
“Do you say this on your own or have others told you about me?”
“My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom did belong to this world, my attendants [would] be fighting to keep me from being handed over to the Jews. But as it is, my kingdom is not here.”
“You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”
“You would have no power over me if it had not been given to you from above. For this reason the one who handed me over to you has the greater sin.”
“Woman, behold, your son.”
“Behold, your mother.”
“It is finished.”
Echo of whispers even from the past…
“Not a bone of it will be broken.”
“They will look upon him whom they have pierced.”
Hear the angelic testimony, come to his words thirsty, as he was… echo them into the future, into your flesh and your world, until he answers you, in person, risen from your tomb…
“Let the one who thirsts come forward, and the one who wants it receive the gift of life-giving water.”
Reflecting on just these words we can know important things, in a simple way, about his earthly ministry that we will follow, if we speak his name on earth. He is, and he is the One who is. He is always liberating captives and healing God’s creations. His way is never violent, yet his way embraces the violence of embodied suffering for our Father’s will. He’s looking for witnesses, true witnessses. Where people follow his kingly rules, where people are truth-filled, there is his Kingdom; it’ll never be where people judge falsely. There is ultimate and unavoidable accountability for all powers and authorities, in every dimension of Creation. There is a Glorious weight that assays the sin within a soul and deflates vainities within an ego. This answerability is perfect love that never puffs up. He is always creating a salvific, Spiritual community that is always superior and only analogous to a family in the flesh. He is unbrokenly human yet thirsty and pierced.
The crux of the matter today is that he completed his assignment through great suffering, which we will follow… or die trying. His role in love is fulfilled, the model of love that God desires was finally established perfectly on earth, long before any of us were born to accept our imperfect roles. Only devils try to change this plan of love, because angels never will forget what they witnessed and guarded, even when human desire and pride within “his people” abandon love. Finally, let’s not forget the future among the ashes, the enjambment of last things… there is what happened next, on the first day, and will happen soon for all those who come and receive.
For all the vain, earthly fireworks about death and destruction, for all the lofty notions in low theology or selfish teachings, and for all the religous folks forever running amok… it is real easy to lose the plot. Afterall the sound and fury of men, God’s Story is just a love story for God’s glory in all Creation. Sometimes it is Days of Wine and Roses or Failure to Launch, maybe Casablanca or An Affair to Remember, while for other times it is Mr. and Mrs. Smith or When Harry met Sally, it could be anyone or all. The important thing to remember that love is and love is happening, because He is love.
In that spirit, I asked Jesus for a word that I could relay to his beloved in meantime, past all the smoke and mirrors, all of the common guns and butter “Christ-haunted” agendas, safe and separate from today’s holy terror and ungodly glories. I asked ‘if he had one chance to tell you something intimately‘ above all the other voices… for this night and at this particular time… no matter what comes or what other tidings anyone may try to sell you. I was dumbfounded at how quickly and clearly I got an answer, and kept getting it back in January. It seemed a bit silly, yet it’s profound beyond compare. I was gobsmacked because it’s by one of my favorite song writers and a favorite singer of mine; they combined in a song that I never heard till we had this dicussion January 3rd.
Ascend, children of God, ascend eagerly. Let your hearts’ resolve be to climb. Listen to the voice of the one who says: “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, to the house of our God,” Who makes our feet to be like deer, “Who sets us on high places, that we may be triumphant on his road.”
Run, I beg you, run with him who said, “Let us hurry until we all arrive at the unity of faith and of the knowledge of God, at mature adulthood, at the measure of the stature of Christ’s fullness”. . . . for God indeed is love, and to Him be all praise, dominion, and power, forever and ever. In Him is the cause past, present, and future of all goodness throughout infinite ages. Amen. ― John Climacus, The Ladder of Divine Ascent
(Sunrise April 21st)