THE WORLDLY WAYS

DAILY DEVOTIONAL

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Christ scornedAnd Jesus said to His disciples, “If the world hates you, be aware that it hated me before it hated you.  If you belonged to the world, the world would love you as its own. Because you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world—therefore the world hates you.” – John 15:18,19

I am not sure I have ever been “hated”.  Oh, I have been criticized, rejected, ignored, abused, castigated, … but I am not all that clear if I have ever been “hated”.  But then again … I can’t imagine anyone hating Jesus, but they did back then, and nowadays I think many criticize, reject, ignore, abuse, even castigate His ways and His Way of life.  And Christ does take the time to reassure His disciples to not be intimidated when people hate you for remember they also hated me.

I find it intriguing that both those on the conservative and progressive ends of the theological spectrum often state that the other side is “too-worldly”.  And I think both sides may be right … they all have become too comfortable with worldly ways, only in a different selection of worldly ways.  But what IS this “world” of which Christ speaks?

Christ uses the term “worldly” as the negative counterpart of “heavenly”.   In a Venn diagram, this particular usage the two would not intersect though they might be viewed as similar circles but on different planes.  There exists a heavenly way and there exists a worldly way, and though they deal with the same experiences and interactions, they are not the same.  Christ confronted Peter when he logically and rather nobly declared that he would never allow or even permit Christ to be crucified by cautioning him, “Peter, you are thinking in a worldly way!”

I seek to live life as a pacifist.  {I am not sure that worldly nations can live as pacifists, but I now personally do… at least, desire to live so.}  And when I state this I am usually met with rather harsh argument against my way of life, sometimes criticized, rejected, ignored, on occasion, abused and castigated.

I believe that Love is the way to conquer the forces of evil.  And when I declare this … those who are dedicated to the norm of thinking common to the world, I have deemed me as foolish and other-worldly.  Yet … I believe this is the way it is done in Heaven so then I must seek to do on earth.

What are the worldly values that I see in we who follow Christ?  Sometimes I see greed being rationalized.  Sometimes I see prejudice being practiced in guise of holy cause.  Sometimes I witness cold-heartedness being called some form of justice.  Sometimes I sense malevolence and vindictiveness done in the name of God.  Sometimes I can feel the pulse of hatred beneath holy sounding words.  Sometimes I find law-and-order being dominant over grace and mercy.  And there other worldly ways … some of them in myself, ways I have yet to discern as not being in synch with heavenly ways.

Always in Christ’s Service,

Fr. Charitas de la Cruz

About Father Charitas de la Cruz

a Jesuit missionary into realms of dreams and possibilities: a pastor, a counselor, a poet, a photographer, a contemplative Christian, servant of Christ, pen name of Rev. Dr. Jim McWhinnie
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