Out of the tumultuous roaring and hysteria filling the sanctuary of the Church of the Paraclete, Jesus stands unmoved. He raises His hands and commands, “Be still!” And just as the wind and waves ceased, so did the crowd.
The people begin to move slowing back to their seats without talking. After a few minutes everyone is seated and the church is silent other than the low humming of the $70,000 new air conditioning system.
“There is more you must here”, He states calmly and unapologetically.
“Most of you spend your entire life trying to be better, trying to follow the rules, trying to live up to the expectations of others in the church. The goal many of you have is to be better than the next person, but in the process you lose who the Father created you to be.” Jesus’ eyes fill with tears and with a deep love.
He continues, ” The goal of My sacrifice was not to make you nice, not to make you rigid, legalistic rule followers. The goal was to set you free from the bondage of sin, free from living to please others, free from never feeling that you are good enough for a relationship with the Creator. The truth is you will never be good enough, you will never be holy enough, you will never be righteous enough. That is what I came to earth for because I am good enough, I am holy enough, I am righteous enough…and I give those things to you as a gift.”
The congregation is silent, a few begin to weep as they begin to feel a spark of hope ignite within their soul, thinking, “could this be true, could it really be true Jesus is the center of the Christian life and that it is not about my goodness and how well I do for Him?”
“I must tell you one more thing.” Jesus says in a quiet voice.
God, My Father and yours, has chosen you before the world began, before He placed one star in the sky, before time was time. He chose you as His and He made a way for that to happen. That way is through Me, for I am the door to Heaven. You are His because of My death. And He loves you unconditionally, and every moment of every day showers grace and mercy and forgiveness on you. Stop trying to make Him happy, stop trying to keep God from getting angry with you. He will never be angry with you again, that is a promise. he will bless you daily and he will guide you with His hand. he will never hide Himself from you, and In fact He is quite fond of you!”
“I have secured all of that for you. Just rest in what I have done. You are free to become all that the Father has created you yourselves to be.” Then Jesus fades and disappears before the tearing eyes of the congregation.
The stunned church sits in silence. Many are weeping, unable to believe the freedom and joy that is blooming inside.
Pastor Apostle Doralis walks slowly up to the podium, not so confident this time, thinking about how to discuss the comments of Jesus.
“Brethren,” he slowly begins, “while Jesus has made us aware of how in some way we may have gotten off track, I feel compelled to tell you that if we follow what he said without the balance of obedience and tithing, sin will consume the church. Grace , mercy and love are fine only if those things very things are balanced with the law. We will set up a committee to see how we can make sure that we do not lose the focus and balance of the disciplined life.”
The uber-religious nod in hardy agreement.