Wednesday, February 22, 2017

We are a Christian

This past weekend, our church held its annual marriage retreat. It is generally one of my favorite weekends of the year; I get to have a weekend off of work, I get to spend time with my wife, time with friends, etc. With our life in the midst of transition and craziness, we were unsure if we'd be able to attend this year. We committed to trying to make it work into our schedule, and I'm so glad that we did, the time to focus on us and God's plan and design in marriage was a soul-satisfying salve.

The overarching theme that has stuck in my mind as we have moved through the teaching of the weekend and re-entered real life is the reality of the description of marriage found in scripture. We find it first in Genesis, and again in Ephesians, this image of a man leaving his father and mother to be joined with his wife, and the two shall become one flesh. 

As we pressed deeper into this reality, what became apparent to me was that my wife and I, through the covenant bond of our marriage are very truly bonded together to the point of being a single flesh. We are a Christian. We are still unique individual persons, we have our own unique thoughts, responsibilities, and lives, but nonetheless we also exist as a singular entity in the sight of God. As such, it is possible to read through the covenant promises found in the gospels and throughout the New Testament as relevant in a marriage relationship, just as much as they are in an individual life. As a biblical, covenantal married couple, we reap the benefits of God's sovereignty to bring to pass our sanctification unto glorification in our relationship to one another, and to our God. We find that we have been brought into a triune relationship: God(fully manifest in His own triune glory), husband, wife. Within this relationship, we find that we can cling to the promises that are generally only applied to individual believers as being true within our marriages as well.

I'm challenging myself, moving forward, to read my Bible for not only my individual growth and sanctification, but to see and feel the promises of God for my marriage as well, knowing that God does not fail to bring His work to completion in His children, be they singular individuals or dual-flesh combined, covenantly-bound believers.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Be fed

A simple conversation with my soon to be 5 (no way can that be right) year old son during the Lord's Supper at church this morning created a connection in my mind that had never occurred to me. I'm awed at the ability of the Holy Spirit to speak truth into our hearts and minds through these kinds of moments. While I was focusing on helping him to better understand the importance of the Supper, the Spirit was using my son's childlike understanding to reveal to me a new facet to a familiar story. A brief snippet of the conversation we were having:

Me: so, why did Jesus allow his body to be broken?
Son: so He could give Himself to all of His friends.
Me: just His friends at that table with Him?
Son: No! All of us here too!

As we talked about this, brought to my mind was the miracle that we generally refer to as Jesus feeding the 5000. During a long day of teaching a vast crowd, Jesus disciples have asked if a break should be taken, and the people sent away so that they can go home and eat. Jesus tells the disciples that the people don't need to go home, and tells his followers to give them something to eat. Ultimately they are given a boy's small lunch consisting of a couple fish and a few loaves of bread. Jesus prays over the food, breaks the bread and tells his followers to take it to the people. As the people began to take of the bread, they found that there was still more available. Everyone who desires to take of this food was given their fill of food, even more than they could've wanted. After the crowd of 5000 men (and who knows how many women and children) were satiated, the disciples gathered the leftovers, filling multiple baskets with food that wasn't eaten.

Thinking of that story in the context of my son's response that Jesus allowed His body to be broken like bread so that He could give Himself to all of His friends, I'm simply blown away by the sign Jesus gave in this miracle feast. Having offered Himself to be broken, crushed for our iniquities, He calls out to us to take of His body and blood. He promises that any who find in them a hunger or thirst to come to Him and find their desire fulfilled by the bread of His body and the fount of His blood. His followers carry with us the miracle bread of life, broken and offered to any who will take of it, and we are commanded to take it to the people of this world who are dying of starvation for want of an unending feast. Jesus gave himself up that he would not only satisfy the needs of His people, but that they would have an abundance, that the grace could be gathered back up to continue to fill new needs. His call to the thirsty, the hungry, the weak, and the dying is to come, feast at the table of the Lord.