Clouds in the sky

Love After Life?

Clouds in the sky

It was college, 1990 something. Cher had just reinserted herself into pop culture with her hit “Do You Believe in Life After Love?” So, my suitemates at the time posed the question, “Jeremy, do you believe in life after love?” To which I replied, in a vain attempt to be cute, “No, but I believe in love after life.”

And so began my foray into well intentioned but poorly executed evangelism. I tried to explain that love came to us even after death, since Jesus promised the hope of eternal life. It was a stretch, I know. Valiant effort, but fruitless endeavor. You can’t fault a guy for trying.

We try so hard to share our faith before someone dies, forgetting that they must die anyway before they can experience true life in Him. “Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains a single seed.” But, oh, the harvest when one seed decides to die to self, in the hope that others might come to bear fruit as well. It is the pattern of Christ Himself; die so that others might live.

This, though, is the death that begets life. We share Christ because He has shared Himself with us. We are recipients of His grace, and His blessings. But we don’t blithely receive; we dig in and pursue Him, just as He has pursued us. It’s the beauty of our romance. The Bridegroom has sought after His bride, and the bride can’t be but enthralled at such love displayed.

So, our response must be that of Mary, bowing at His feet in adoration and worship. Yet, we must also respond as Martha, “working out our salvation with fear and trembling.” We “work as unto the Lord.” While we have passively received His overtures of love, we aggressively pursue Him, and those who He has crafted after His image.

For those who know Him are “elect before the foundation of the world.” We have been His for all time, and in all ways, no matter our error or our wandering. And He has a people who are His own, sown as wheat among the tares. Yet, we are poor farmers who know not which is which. So, we sow; we reap. We go, we tell. “That all might know Him.” We are as “all things to all people, that some might be saved.”

There ain’t no grave, after all, that can hold those that God has resurrected. Though they die a thousand deaths, “His mercies are new every morning,” the sun rising on yet another day of life and vigor. “Though He slay me, yet will I live,” for He is our Source. Hope and joy, the new birth, emanate from Him, and invigorate those who have cast aside all that they have for the sake of this pearl of great price.

So, keep telling. Keep sharing, and showing. Let them see, and hear, and sense and feel, Jesus, who has come for them. “Shine your light among men.” Hide it under a bushel? No! Whatever mortification might come from identifying with Christ is a death worth dying. Whatever life might come from walking with Him is a life worth sharing. For He alone is worthy!

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Happy Father’s Day

An Open Letter to My Children

I know that I haven’t always been the best at what I do. I’m really just trying to figure it out as I go along. And I don’t always heed the warnings, or learn the lessons, that I’m supposed to. But I’m trying. I really am.

It’s just so hard. I’m awash in my own sin, all while I try to coax you away from yours. And there’s just so much we don’t know. So many hard truths that we forget, so many past failings that we take up again.

But you guys are great kids. You’re intelligent, fun, and tender-hearted. You bring such joy to your mom and I, amidst the heartache. You have made our family a home. You make us whole, and complete. Our house would just be a house were it not for you.

So, this Father’s Day, we can’t celebrate how great I am; it simply isn’t true. And we can’t celebrate how great you’ve been; it’s often, but not always. What we can celebrate, though, what we can truly embrace and rejoice in, is that Jesus has shown us the Father, the father who loves deeper than we can ever love, forgives more than we can ever transgress, and gives more than we could ever need. He has shown us a better way, and He has given us the means to travel it through His Son.

In this world you will have sorrow. In this world it will never be completely right. But take heart, Jesus says, “I have overcome the world.” And we are overcome with His love. Thank God, for God. May He be the father to you that I never can be, and may He make me the father that I always wished to be.

Happy Father’s Day.

–Jeremy Luman

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