Monday, January 31, 2011

Holy and ignoble vessel

The Lord has said He Himself sets the purposes of the vessel, noble and ignoble both - either as a ceremonial vessel for oil in the temple, or as a chamber pot. Wordly success and wordly failure are both decreed, both Holy. Fruit of the Spirt is dependent upon Spirit, not circumstance; not all obedience ends in success, but all obedience is flavored by the fruit of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control). The question is if in obedience which leads to failure we find ourselves guilty of judgement which condemns the failure by worldly standards (or secretly exalts that of success). Ultimately if failure comes as a result of obedience, if failure is a calling even, then it is as holy as success. We are entrenched in our thinking with the thought of our success riding upon our efforts, affirmed in our senses of an untenable self by the what ultimately is the random conference of seeming success by the hand of God to our endeavors. Thus the attribution of personal culpability in success or failure is equally wrong, equally damaging - at best we can surmise if one was obedient to the Lord, and reverent in the walking out of obedience, and even this surmising is frought with peril of committing judgement if done without revelation from the Spirit. The rub is this: at any point one is considered lesser or somehow defunct or defective or delinquent or dismissible or detestable because of (what the world considers) failure in action / effort, then the judger is guilty of dismissing the Holy, of passing judgement of the Holy. Is it not God who wins the favor of men (men whom may decree in our favor, or against us), was it not God who chose not to win favor with Pontius Pilot that Christ might be turned over to the Jews, arguably a failure of Christ to save himself in the worldly, earthly, Sadduciac standards? Was it not God who said not Solomon in all his splendor was robed as beautifully as the grass of the field, and yet we are robed in more splendor - the Splendor of He in whom we are robed, the Splendor of Christ? Are we not robed in Righteousness not by success but by obedience? - even obedience to the point of failure, the point of not succeeding when we could shirk the fruit of the spirit and aspire, under our own strength, to accomplish a goal never desired to be accomplished by the Will of God in our lives? Bottom lining it: if in my obedience i never have a totally clean house, nor a successful academic career nor attaining to any other number of successes prized even within Christendom (aside from the successes of moral rectitudes), am I not yet still as Holy as any number of successful pastors or business CEOs of fortune 500 companies or princes or Senators? Am i not just as worthy to sit in counsel of those same men when it comes to matters of Faith and community?