Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own!


It's noisy.

The world fills us up with its messages. The advertising industry knows that it has to speak in the language of desire, it has to win our hearts, and it throws millions and millions of pounds at doing just that. Our sinful flesh, dead and yet still being carried around by us fights with the desires of the Holy Spirit and our new heart... and the accuser whispers in our ears. All of them seeking to seduce us away from our betrothal to Jesus and into spiritual adultery.

Offering us happiness better than we have.
Offering us a warmth we can't find where we are.

It happened in Thyatira (Revelation 2:18-29)
It happened in Corinth (2 Cor 11:1-4)
It happened to Israel (Exodus 34)
It happened in Eden (Genesis 3)

Sin isn't petty rule breaking. Sin is relational betrayal.

And just restraining ourselves doesn't work any more than the ropes and ear wax strategy employed by Odysseus to stave off the alluring Sirens on his journey home from the battle of Troy. He restrained his crew with ropes and wax, and himself with ropes. Technically he got through alive, but his heart was lost.

Jesus speaks.

Jesus sings.

Jesus outbids the other lovers. He bids until "all else is outbidden!" (Jeremiah Burroughs on Hosea).

Which is good because we keep finding ourselves "here by choice, by a long series of choices for things which, at any one moment, temporarily outbid the things [we] say we wanted most" (Francis Spufford). It's said "You can't always get what you want..." yet we do always get what we've wanted moment by moment. We follow our desires but there is one who desires us. Jesus is jealous for us. With a pure jealousy.
The divine jealousy of he whose Name is Jealous.

The story is told in Hosea 2:14, in Exodus 34, and in page after pages of the Bible. From beginning to end our Beloved seeks to rekindle the romance and bring us home to himself.

Jason defeated the Sirens not with weapons of war but with a musician. He knew what Matthew Bridges knew when he wrote: Hark! How the heavenly anthem drowns all music but its own. Drown out the noise with the alluring song of Jesus.

Jesus sings love that many waters cannot quench.
Jesus sings love that burns with passion for us.
Love burns for us, or it burns against us, and the cross is the loudest of all songs.
Love burns to the death of He Who Is Jealous.
By faith the death of Jealous is my death too - and his resurrection mine.
Let the old, dead and sinful be burned up like a burned offering as Love himself takes my place.
Decreated and then raised to new creation. A new life where the Spirit's fire burns within me.

Awake my soul to sing of Christ who died for me, my matchless king for eternity.

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