September 16th, 2005


The faithless Bride

Ezekiel 16: Wow. A shockingly vivid portrait of Israel's/our/my relationship with God—His tender love for us, our faithless rejection of Him, His righteous response and ultimate commitment to our redemption. There's simply no way I could walk away from a passage like this with the illusion that the Bible has nothing to say to me, if I'm willing to be starkly honest (and eventually, it's just too damned tiring not to be). It's hard to read. It's worth reading anyway. The Church is in this story. I am in this story.

For my part, I've spent so much time, energy, and life trying to play the hero—all the while running from everything else. Thus, I strap into a story that's often too small to really live in, and in some cases is entirely false. I shove aside dealing with my whoredom, so I find myself surprised again and again when it resurfaces. And I have trouble accepting the love of God or anyone else because I don't deal with my debt. I don't live into the fullness of my real story.

Those harsh judgments of Ezekiel 16? Though I may yet need to face the consequences of my sin, Jesus alone bore the full weight of them. God's wrath came fully upon Him. For us. For me. It came because God is and must be just. It came on Him because of God's love for His people. For us. For me.

There's still room to be a hero. But it comes on this side of the Cross, in the context of a real life lived in its shadow and its light, in a story larger than my own. Trying to live otherwise is, by God's grace, absolutely exhausting.