Friday, January 23, 2009

Purpose - e*b week 2

For: The Institute of Contemporary and Emerging Worship Studies, St. Stephen's University, Essentials Blue Online Worship Theology Course with Dan Wilt

(note: I'm going to grapple with some mystery here, so please bear with me as I work it out some in this post.)

I had a revelatory moment this week as I was reading Simply Christian: Jesus had to "discover" and work out His divine purpose through relationship with the Father.

Maybe it's just me, but I had always had this embedded theology that said Jesus was born with an innate complete knowing of who He was and what He was here to do.

But if I'm to take seriously the fully God and fully man scenario, then Jesus would've had to discover His purpose here on earth just like any other human being has to.

I'm not calling into question His divinity in the least. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God, born of a virgin, come to redeem mankind from that dreadful rebellion in the Garden. I also believe that when He came, He came as a human. He put aside His kingly rights and privileges and limited Himself completely in the human flesh.

He modeled what the normal Christian life is to be like. One where we are completely dependent on God for our every direction, for our meaning and purpose. After all, Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing. [1]

N.T. Wright puts it this way: "Jesus was aware of a call, a vocation, to do and be what, according to the scriptures, only Israel's God gets to do and be." [2] He was aware of a call. Just like I am aware of a call. We all have a call written on our hearts, but we have to discover what that call means...what the purpose of the call is.

"[Jesus] was sustained not only by his reading of scripture, in which he found so clearly the lines of his own vocation, but also by his intimate prayer life with the one he called Abba, Father."[3] He found His purpose through relationship with the Father. He got His clear direction and His sustenance through staying connected to that relationship at all times. He could stay rooted and grounded in His calling because at every turn He was plugged in to the Father.

What does this mean for me?

It underscores the importance of my relationship with the Father. I need Him to define my purpose, to clarify that calling that is in my heart but is oftentimes nebulous at best. I need to stay in His Word and continue to cultivate my prayer life. I need to stay plugged into the vine. I need to remain in Him.

When I find myself floundering, I remain in Him.

When I can't figure out who I am or what I'm here for, I remain in Him.

When I have clarity of purpose and know what I'm called to do, I remain in Him.

It's what Jesus did. Because in the mystery that is the incarnation of Christ, He needed to remain in the Father in order to fulfill His divine mission as Savior of the world.

How much more do I need to remain in Him to fulfill mine.

1. John 5:19
2. N.T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense (New York: HarperCollins, 2006), 118.
3. ibid, 119

1 comment:

  1. Wow... Are we reading the same book?!? This is huge, I can't believe I missed this aspect of the message. This is such a wonderful and inspiring, and profound insight. I'm not a fast reader, and I get distracted easily, so its easy to say I read all the material 2 or 3 times by having to go back and read it again, but you seem to have pulled out so much about purpose in the Father, that I may has well been reading gone with the wind or something. :) Awesome post, I'll be reflecting on this a bit more. (that's how my mind works, read it, let it sit an simmer then something clicks...) I look forward to reading more. ttyl