Thursday, November 5, 2009

What Happens when Unholiness Encounters Holiness?

What happens, do you think, when a faithless person meets God face to face? What Happens when a sinner has a close encounter with God? When a devil-filled person encounters Holiness Himself? When a criminal meets the Judge of All? When a good-for-nothing scroundrel and ingrate meets the Father? When a fool meets the Wisdom from on High?

He gets zapped, you may suppose.

But God's Wisdom and Mercy and Justice are full of surprises. Read on...

What happens when a faithless person meets God face to face?

Faith happens.

Jesus said to him, "If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes."

Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

Healing happens.
When Jesus saw that the people came running together, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, "Deaf and dumb spirit, I command you, come out of him and enter him no more!" Then the spirit cried out, convulsed him greatly, and came out of him. And he became as one dead, so that many said, "He is dead." But Jesus took him by the hand and lifted him up, and he arose. (Mark 9:23-27)

What Happens when a sinner has a close encounter with God?

Joy happens.

Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not because of the crowd, for he was of short stature. So he ran ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see Him, for He was going to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, "Zacchaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house." So he made haste and came down, and received Him joyfully. But when they saw it, they all complained, saying, "He has gone to be a guest with a man who is a sinner."

Repentance happens.
Then Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold."

Salvation happens.
And Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:2-10)

What happens when a demon-possessed person encounters perfect Holiness?

The demons flee.

And they come to Jesus, and see him that was possessed with the devil, and had the legion, sitting, and clothed, and in his right mind: and they were afraid. (Mark 5:15)

What happens when a sinful person sees God?

Purification happens.

So I said: "Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; For my eyes have seen the King, The Lord of hosts."

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

"Behold, this has touched your lips; Your iniquity is taken away, And your sin purged." (Isaiah 6:5-7)

What happens when a criminal meets the Judge of the World?

Rescue happens.

Then the scribes and Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery. And when they had set her in the midst, they said to Him, "Teacher, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses, in the law, commanded us that such should be stoned. But what do You say?" This they said, testing Him, that they might have something of which to accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down and wrote on the ground with His finger, as though He did not hear.

Justice happens.
So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, "He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first." And again He stooped down and wrote on the ground.

Then those who heard it, being convicted by their conscience, went out one by one, beginning with the oldest even to the last. And Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had raised Himself up and saw no one but the woman, He said to her, "Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?"

She said, "No one, Lord."

Salvation happens.
And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more."

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, "I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life." (John 8:3-12)

What happens when the Master comes to His unworthy servant?

The Master serves His servants.

Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. (Phippians 2:5-8)

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. (John 13:3-5, 12-16)

What happens when a good for nothing wastrel and ingrate comes to his God?

Love happens.

But the father said to his servants, 'Bring out the best robe and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand and sandals on his feet. And bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry; for this my son was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.' And they began to be merry.

Music and dancing happen.
"Now his older son was in the field. And as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. (Luke 15:22-25)

What happens when a foolish person meets the Lord?

Wisdom happens.

The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, who told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ? (John 4:29-30)

Of course, in reality, none of these just happens. Each is a form of Grace. And all these gifts await us, are ours if we will have them. If not, then yes, we shall be zapped - but not by God.

Open to me, O Gracious One, the doors of repentance!


Anam Cara said...

Okay, I'll bite. Who does the zapping?

Fr. Gregory Hogg said...

Thanks, Anastasia. I needed this. (And thanks for using the word 'wastrel' too--what a cool word!)

Fr. Gregory

Emily H. said...

Anastasia, this was wonderful!! You've brightened my heart by sharing this. When you lay it all out like that it is so plain for all to see that our sweetest Lord Jesus is the Lover of Mankind.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Who does the zapping? I worded that somewhat badly, I see. I should have said, "If not, then you won't be UNZAPPED, either." because of course we were all already zapped. By whom? The usual suspects. The devil, not without cooperation from our First Parents and later, ourselves.