Bread – Liked

February 10, 2014


Readings for Monday, February 10, 2014, designated by the 1979 Book of Common Prayer: Gen. 25:19-34; Heb. 13:1-16; John 7:37-52; Psalms 77,79,80

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We all like to be liked. I like to be liked. When we are accepted by our peers and our peers are a “good” group, we feel better. If we are elevated by our peers to a position of authority or leadership or appreciation, we feel even better. It is a fair statement that, since we like to be liked, we really like to be really liked. It feeds our pride, our ego, are self-esteem, our sense of self-worth. And, if our peers like us enough, then we can become celebrities, mini-gods of mini-worlds.

Perhaps this is why this verse stuck out to me in today’s readings from Hebrews – “So Jesus suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through His own blood. Therefore let us go to Him outside the camp and bear the reproach He endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.” Heb. 13:12-14

Therefore, let us go to Jesus outside the camp.

What is the camp? Where we are. Where our house is, our job is, our schools are, our family is, our “life” is. The camp is where the man-made lights are, where the warmth of the man-made fire is, where people gather around to eat and drink together, where there is safety from the marauding beasts in the forest.

We like the camp and the camp likes us. So what does Jesus do? He goes outside the camp to die for us, and then He tells us that, if we are to meet Him, love Him, and follow Him, we must leave the camp too.

And when we leave the camp, we will not be liked any more. We will hear the reproach of the people in the camp – “What, you don’t like us anymore? You don’t need us anymore? You are so foolish, chasing after will-o-the-wisps rather than stay close to the fire. You are stupid, chasing after a story, a fairy-tale, a myth, a lie. You are not being rational. You are not being scientific. What are you going to do with all of your stuff? What are you going to do about your family? What are you going to do about us, your friends? Come back now and we will forgive you, we will like you again. Hey, if you leave the camp to go where Jesus is, we are not going to like you anymore. You will not be liked and you will therefore lose your self-esteem. Why are you worshiping a king when you yourself are a king? Besides, we are all going to die anyway. Come back and be liked!”

The love of Jesus is foolishness to the world, to those who are perishing. Leaving the camp of the world to join Jesus outside the camp is to bear the reproach of our family, friends, and neighbors. It is be criticized by important people, people who we want to like us.

In fact, we want to be liked so badly, we are sorely tempted to leave Jesus outside the camp and come back into the camp, joining our fellow “likers” and “likees” in liking each other.

Why would you want to give up being liked? Maybe in order to be loved.

God is love. Jesus lives outside the camp. If we want real love, go to the source. Go outside the camp and find it.

Satan takes the realities of heaven and turns them into shadow copies on earth, so that we might be fooled into thinking that the counterfeit is the same thing as the real. Perhaps that is why so many people are content to be merely liked, when they could be loved.

“Jesus loves me, this I know, for the Bible tells me so….” So goes the children’s song. But if you want to find Him, you have to leave the camp and be ready for the reproach of the world. If you want to be loved unto salvation, leave the camp and go to Jesus.

Liked or loved. Two places. Two paths. Two choices.

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© 2014 GBF

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