Friday, April 02, 2010

Easter Week: Further Up, Further In

(Linda and I, at Caesarea Philippi north of Tel Aviv, on the Mediterranean Sea)

Do I love the things this week brings? Yes. Yesterday was, for me, an extended meditation on the cross-event of Jesus, using the Gospel stories + some current texts by Craig Evans and N.T. Wright to assist me. At one point yesterday, I confess, I began crying while contemplating Jesus, who is my Rescuer. I am, and will be, always grateful for the redemptive work Christ has done and continues to do in me. The fruit of this continues to be that I find engaging in redemptive work on behalf of others the most rewarding experiences of my life.

There is a greater and greater converging point happening for me. Today through Sunday I am personally fathoming the depth of what Paul writes in Philippians 3:10 - "I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death."

Me too. More than ever. This spring marks 40 years of following after Jesus. It's been an adventurous, imperfect, enriching experience that I would not trade for anything. I think of C.S. Lewis's attempt in the Chronicles of Narnia to describe heaven, not as a static place, but as a never-ending movement of "further up, further in."

When Paul writes about "knowing" Christ, it's instructive to remember that, for him, "knowing" is relational, not theoretical. It is like a husband who knows his wife, and vice versa. As a result of being married to Linda for over 36 years I "know" things about her that no one else could know. (Philosopher of science Michael Polanyi called this "tacit knowledge.")

To know Christ, now and in the days ahead, more deeply. My heart cries out, "I want to know you, Lord."