Archive for the ‘grace’ Category

Drinking from the Cup – Which Cup?

April 5, 2009

I’ve been listening to The Beautiful Girls lately, an Aussie band, and one of my favourite songs of theirs is ‘Bring Me Your Cup’ which is actually a cover of a UB40 song. It’s a cheery little song talking about sharing a drink with a friend who cares a lot but has never actually stated how he feels about the woman he is sharing a drink with. The lyrics go like this:  

Did I ever say, how I feel about you
I think I never found that easy to do
The things that you do, don't need to be heard
You know your actions, girl, speak louder than words

(CHORUS)

I've got the bottle, bring me your cup
Pop the cork, and try a sup
And when you're empty, I'll fill you up
We'll drink it down till the sun comes up

I'm heading home, like a steaming train
Foot to the floor, in the driving rain
My head is aching and my mouth is dry 
I've got a thirst only you can satisfy

And I love the song! It speaks of a close relationship between two people in which their love is shared and known  through their actions. It’s beautiful. 

But I’ve been reading about another cup lately too. One that has also been downed in love by one whose actions speak directly to my heart, loudly but also with words. 

This morning I read in Jeremiah 25 that every nation of the world is to drink of the cup of God’s wrath: 

15Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it. 16They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”

This is particularly terrifying because to drink from God’s cup means to be judged and after years of being reminded to turn back to God, God then says this judgement is to come to everyone. You can read about it in Jeremiah 25.

At this time of the year in our approach to Easter, I am reminded of how Jesus really understood the terror involved in drinking God’s cup. For in the Garden of Gethsemane on the night before Jesus was to be crucified he prayed, through bloodied tears and sweat, 

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)

And he prayed this prayer – that he would not have to drink from God’s cup – THREE times that night. Three times! He truly must have known the torment associated with drinking the cup of the wrath of God. But he did it. Knowingly, Jesus drank. And he experienced the consequences when he cried out on the cross just before he died, 

“Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?”that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)

For Christ, drinking God’s cup meant taking on the wrath of God that was due to the WHOLE WORLD because we have ignored God and tried to do things our own way. Jesus drank from that cup and was cut off from God, like we should have been. Instead of us. It’s amazing.  It’s incredible. Now, because Jesus drank from this cup, we don’t have to! Because he took the judgement of God for the world, we don’t have to! Because he rose from death, so can we! It’s amazing! 

So I was thinking, The Beautiful Girls song ‘Bring Me Your Cup’ kinda reflects, in a small way, the relationship we can now have with God. God has shown us how He feels about us through Christ. He has spoken clearly, with actions and words. At the cross we see how God feels about us ignoring him and doing things our own way – He hates it! And it deserves punishment! Severe punishment!! – but He loves us and takes that punishment himself so we never have to experience the judgement that separates us from Him. God has made it very clear how He feels about us.

God has filled the cup and passed it to Jesus, He drank, took the consequences and through obedience came through having won a way free of judgement for us – if we acknowledge that Jesus took the punishment that was really due to us! Thank God! And now Jesus offers to fill our cup with water from the spring of life, not judgement but life,

6He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life…” (Revelation 21:6&7

And you know that just makes me feel like “heading home, like a steaming train, Foot to the floor in the driving rain, [because] my head is aching and my mouth is dry, I’ve got a thirst that only [Christ] can satisfy.”

But Revelation shows us that if we don’t take the cup Christ offers us, we must still drink the cup of the wrath of God…for if we don’t accept that Christ has drunk it for us, then we’re left to drink it for ourselves.

I thank God I’m drinking from the cup of life this Easter and forever.

Here Ends A Small Forever

August 24, 2008

It’s been a small forever since I last updated this blog. Sorry about that. I have missed you all. Much. And much has happened, so this will henceforth be known as ‘the catch up post’.

Lidia Update:
Lidia has returned to school! It is sooooo completely amazing that the doctors, who told Lidia’s parents 10 times that she would surely die, are describing her recovery in terms of a miracle. And it is. We know it. We see it as she swings upside-down on the monkey bars, as she draws us pictures and writes ‘I love you. Lidia’ on the bottom of the page. As she talks and laughs and runs and skips and plays, our hearts do likewise and we know this is a miracle performed by our Almighty God. Our God who cares and loves and never ever withdraws. Praise Him!

In other news,

I crashed my car last week.

It was rather spectacular. I was tired, sick and stressed and as I approached a row of cars banked up at a set of traffic lights I made a very bad braking decision: I accelerated. Hmmm. Not the best choice to make but despite my repeated attempts to find the brake, I just couldn’t and only ended up planting my foot more firmly on the accelerator, the result being my car ploughing into the nice new Mazda in front of me to the accompaniment of a cacophony of grating metal and smashing glass. Our cars ended up entwined in some kind of grotesque embrace, causing passers by to slow and stare, creeping by as if tiptoeing through the shards of metal and glass littering the road.

I was on my way to a meeting I was dreading and found the crash somewhat satisfying. The noise, the impact, the disruption all seem a fitting reflection of how I was feeling, of how I felt the meeting would go and to have it played out so graphically outside my tormented heart was comforting. It was a good crash. It felt like, in some Shakespearian sense, the world understood and empathised. The crash is a symbolic marker ending a significant time in my life. I feel like now, a new episode has begun. I emerged whiplashed but fine.

The people at the accident were lovely. So nice and gracious.
“Don’t worry about it. You’re ok, that’s all that matters,” said the guy whose nice new car was now a mangled remnant of its former self.
“It was an accident,” comforted the smiling woman in the car in front.
Their grace too is like a harbinger of the good to come, a peaceful ushering in of a new time.

I’ll keep you updated.
How have you guys been?