“…keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.” (Jude 21, ESV)
We are nearing the end of our look into Jude. And as I have mentioned repeatedly, I believe that Jude is a book stressing the need to be humble before order; before objectivity. And if you give any serious thought to your past and present circumstances, you may not need much time to discover that you do not like order. Or at least, you may find that you are selective about the order you want and the order you do not want. I suspect that for those of you that drive a car, you cherish the fact of order, not only because of the essential fixed properties that make your engine functional and reliable, but also because of the yellow lines in the road determining which side of the road traffic must remain. And should you disregard the need for order, a police officer will kindly remind you.
Order demands something from us.
Objectivity requires adherence.
Obejectivity points to something fixed.
Hear G.K. Chesterton in his work Orthodoxy:
“Now here comes in the whole collapse and huge blunder of our age. We have mixed up two different things, two opposite things. Progress should mean that we are aways changing the world to suit the vision. Progress does mean (just now) that we are always changing the vision. It should mean that we are slow but sure in bringing justice and mercy among men: it does mean that we are very swift in doubting the desirability of justice and mercy…
Progress should mean that we are always walking towards the New Jerusalem. It does mean that the New Jerusalem is always walking away from us.
We are not altering the real to suit the ideal.
We are altering the ideal: it is easier.”
(p.91, emphasis mine.)
Do you hear Chesterton?
We have torn down the walls of truth. We have eliminated the goal. We have no image to be built into.
We have no vision to tell us this way or that way..
We have no borders to guide us in the mist of our creatureliness.
We believe that becasue we can think that we will think rightly.
We think that because we are alive that we understand how to live.
We believe that we can speak meaning into our lives without an objective source telling us when we are or are not speaking correctly.
We beleive that we have been left to ourselves to discover why and how to live, but we have not found out who is right about these things.
And I believe Chesterton when he says that this is the easy way.
For in the end, it is more difficult to obey order; to fall into line; to submit to authority; to be humble before a God who defines life and our purpose as humans.
And without the One who gives order, which culture do we trust? Which age of man do we trust? Which philosophy do we trust? Who has it right?
Evolution cannot define a thing for me, for I have no purpose for being, other than that I am alive today. But for what?
In what way will evolution help me to define what is true progress of the species and that which I perceive to be true progress?
Are we to define peace or organize ourselves under the vision of peace?
Are we to define life or organize ourselves under the vision of life?
Are we to define love or organize ourselves under the vision of love?
Yet who will cast the vision?
Who knows when truth is truth or an illusion of truth?
Who blesses us with law that is truly law?
Who will show us the way to a universal confession of why being alive matters and why dying for this confession is at time required?
Who can speak life into my morning in such a way that I free to be humble before something bigger than myself?
Bigger than my weak definitions?
Bigger than my finiteness?
Bigger than my duplicity?
Who is it that has the power to keep me keeping on the way when I am inclined to make the vision easier? When I am inclined to erase the ideal for me
and for you…?
John 14:6 (ESV)
6 Jesus said to him,
“I am the way,
and the truth,
and the life.
No one comes to the Father
except through me.
Hear Jesus bless us with what we hate: exceptions.
We hate exceptions because the truth, the vision, the ideal, the law, the most holy faith require them.
Hear the world hate Christ.
Hear the world hate exclusivity.
Take note of your irritation or overt hatred for order. And let it be your confession and basis for crying out for God’s grace to keep you…
to keep yourselves…
in the love of God.
It is the way of true living
says our Master
Hear Jude command us, “Contend, contend for life! Let no one take you from the way. Let no one pervert the grace of God.”
Oh Christian, hear Jude tell us to wait, wait for the mercy to to be revealed to us that will one day bring us in fullness to the righteousness of Christ,
which is and will be given to us that we may live wonderfully, joyfully, thankfully as humans being created weak and humble in constant need of our God’s direction.
For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more.
He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry.
As soon as he hears it, he answers you.
And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction,
yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore,
but your eyes shall see your Teacher.
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying,
“This is the way, walk in it,”
when you turn to the right
or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:19–21 (ESV)
You call me Teacher
and you are right,
for so I am…
If you know these things,
blessed are you
if you do them.
(Jesus Christ in Jn 13:13, 17, ESV)