Friday, April 01, 2005

Gushing about Living God's Love - Conversation Seven

Please excuse me while I gush about the book I've been writing about, chapter by chapter, Living God's Love . . .

I want everyone I know and don't know to read this book. Like the waves of the ocean, my desire to read devotional literature, and frankly, have a quiet time, has ebbed and flowed. Living God's Love speaks so warmly, practically, and yet prophetically and sharply at times to awaken my desire to live this incredible life with God.

Holloway and Lavender wisely lay out in chapter five the model of Jesus praying and practical ways to pray. And here's where our conversations cross paths with the reflections on Hauerwas's Cross-Shattered Christ: rather than stopping at the model prayer or those few examples of Jesus going to solitary places to pray, Holloway and Lavender also reflect on the words of Jesus on the cross.

And this is powerful to me as I see these two books come together to show me something I had not "seen" before: the seven last words of Jesus on the cross are prayers. Jesus is praying in the most cosmic and epic conflict of his life.

The most poignant and gripping scene in The Passion--aside from Jesus saying to Mary, "I make all things new" . . . but the most biblically accurate--is Jesus saying in Aramaic in a way I'd never heard it, "Elihi, Elihi lema sabachthani?" "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (Matthew 27:46). Yesterday's reflections say more about this but today it is a gripping realization to see this and Christ's other words spoken on the cross as prayers.

This, I will think about periodically today and perhaps in times of crisis that come the rest of my life.

I'll leave the practical side for you to read in the book. This book ought to be your small group's or Bible class's next book to read and study. Taken seriously, this God-life and how they present it and practically apply it, will overwhelm and transform you and your community. Order Living God's Love

1 comment:

Greg Newton said...

Taking the words of Jesus from the cross as prayers is helpful. It will also drive us back to look at the whole of Psalm 22 and question "the Father abandoning the Son" explanation - why is Jesus praying if the Father isn't listening? The classic explanation seems dramatic, but theologically questionable:

Is the message that when we do the Father's Will and it gets tough He'll abandon us?? I think not ... and do want to portray God as being unfaithful to those faithful to Him.