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Year 2000

My Lord and my God, my heart celebrates the anniversary and reality
of Your Son's resurrection from death and His invitation to join Him
in renewed life in Your Spirit. Thank you, my Father!

Two millennia later Your children ask others to "Accept Jesus as
your personal Lord and Savior." I am learning what this really means.
You have taught its meaning through great sufferings you allowed to
penetrate deep into my soul.

You taught that Your righteousness that
comes with Your redemption comes only as a result of hunger and thirst.
My body knows the distress of great hunger and great thirst. That hunger
and thirst becomes all consuming of my attention; their pain drives my body
to seek food and water above all else. When food and water satisfies me,
I feel immensely blessed and grateful. So it is with the hunger and thirst
of my spirit. Only then, I realize, Your righteousness will fill me.

"Accepting Jesus" are such trite words, not appropriate to Your majesty,
love, power and Who You essentially are. In the same sense, I would not
say I accept Your forgiveness, or I accept Your creative wonders,
or I accept Your incomprehensible sacrifice, Your drinking of the
incomprehensibly bitter cup of our sins and egocentricity,
or that I accept Your gift of freedom and love.

Acceptance implies a one-way transaction; it implies that I am in charge.
Who am I to talk like that to You, Whom all of creation and all of the
heavenly realms cannot contain.

Please forgive me for ever thinking in this manner, or misleading
others with that word.
Let me learn more how accepting You means accepting all of You.
It means accepting Your cross as well as Your liberation,
accepting Your admonishments as well as Your blessings,
Your enemies as well as Your friends, Your demands of me,
my total surrender of all I have and am to You.
It means accepting the death of my old life and Your demand for
obedience in my new life in You.
Do Your children really understand what it means to
"Accept Jesus"?

Please forgive me and the many others of Your Body throughout
history for the times we pressured, directly and indirectly, others to
"accept Jesus" without also teaching what it really means, setting them
up for a tumultuous spiritual life. Thank You for teaching me what it
really means through the blessing of great tribulation and struggle in
keeping and nurturing the faith.

I accept instant coffee and fast foods, but I learned that it is not mine
to accept instant spirituality and then proceed to go my own way in
my own name, misguided in thinking I have Your blessings in doing so.

Let me instead embrace You and all that comes with and through You;
embracing my enemies, my sufferings and the crucifixion of my being
in You; embracing Your guidance, Your mandates, and Your love.
Embracing keeping Your Name holy at all cost to me;
Embracing and celebrating my forgiveness of the sins against me
as well as the forgiveness of my sins against You.

Rather than, in a cloak of arrogance, say I accept Easter and
its profound meaning and implications,
let me embrace Your resurrection and redemptive gift,
let me embrace with tears of both joy and penitence
Your love and salvation, yes, along with all that comes with them.

I embrace Your light; and when I find myself in darkness,
let me embrace that too, and embrace "waiting upon the Lord"
for the renewal of light and strength and wisdom.
And I embrace Your infinite patience and mercy,
for I have so much to learn about what it means to "accept" Jesus.

Thank You, my Lord and my God. Amen. So be it.


John S. Hilkevich, Ph.D.
Spiritual Resource Services

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