When a woman gives birth, blood and water flow from her body.
Jesus was 100% human. He suffered as we do, he suffered with us. He experienced life – all of it – alongside us.
And then he died. Just as we will. Just as we already do.
We are always dying in order to live. Death. Burial. Resurrection.
As Glennon Doyle says: “First the pain. Then the waiting. Then the rising.”
Cliché-free devotions for whole-hearted and meaningful living.
“Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.” John 12:25.
The ultimate paradox: you must die in order to live.
In his book “Breathing Under Water,” Richard Rohr said:
“We suffer to get well. We surrender to win. We die to live. We give it away to keep it… All mature spirituality is about letting go.”
Or in other words, all mature spirituality is about embodying Jesus death and resurrection.
Crucifixion was a Roman capital punishment invention that intended to strip an individual of their identity and show any and all who looked upon the horrid sight that the empire had dominated that man or woman. It was the complete humiliation and degradation of an individual. In the above, in John, Jesus was talking about our ego, not our physical body. The ego is what Paul talked about whenever he used the word “flesh.” It's the small self within us that wants to win, and puff itself up, and arrogantly parade itself. Or adversely, hide in shame and retreat. It’s our ego that has to go, and it seems that only suffering and powerlessness does the job properly and thoroughly. Like being crucified… (I am crucified with Christ…)
But on the other side of the death throws of our ego lies an entirely different kind of life – a re-birth – if we dare to practice letting go; become powerless before the grace of God, not trying to prove ourselves or earn our worth, but learning just to be. Our ego wants to dominate, but our spirit longs for the freedom of letting go of the need to in the first place.
It’s an everyday, ordinary kind of miracle, a life like that.
Written by Liz Milani