“I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.”

Gal 2:20

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Last night I returned to the last chapter of a special book, Czeslaw Milosz’s The Captive Mind.  In that chapter, entitled  “The Lesson of the Baltics,”  Milosz discusses how the Baltic states of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia and their people, religion, language, culture, livelihoods, traditions, property rights, land, occupations, self-governance, independence, history, identity, spirit and existence were gutted by Russian communism.

This stunning account in all its personal dimension of families divided, villages destroyed, exiles shipped to collectives and labor camps made me ask: What will become of us in this country?

Instinctively, I turned to Christ – for only in Christ is there the tomorrow of all life – mortal and eternal.

Yes, we are crucified with Christ and it is Christ who must live in us if we are to live at all.

Yet how does Christ live in us, and we live in Christ?

There is a dedication required.  That is, we must maintain a day by day intimate relationship with Christ.  Just as a friendship or family, marriage or parent-child relationship requires that we attend to it daily, nurture it daily and lovingly – so too does our relationship with Christ require this care and devotion, this dedication.

We nurture life with Christ in our fellowship with others who believe, through reading Scripture to acquire familiarity with Christ and His ways, in worship and in daily prayer. And we must listen to Christ – listen more to Christ than to the wrap-around messages of this world: the media, Hollywood, celebrities, advertisers, self-serving power-seekers, exploiters, tempters, and sensationalists of one sort or another.

Only by listening to Christ can we learn how to love and how to live in all circumstances.

Christ lives in us when we come to know and follow the special purpose that each of us has in our unique creation.  Yes, each of us has been called to life to serve a godly purpose, to live in the divine contentment that comes from doing in this life the good that is within us, planted there by our Creator.

Each of us is called to life to face its challenges and know its joys so we may glorify God in our mere being.  Each of us living in Christ, like Christ, reflects God’s power and love, God’s fidelity and “foreverness.”

In Christ there is no Baltic tragedy. No, in Christ there is purpose, joy, strength, certainty, eternity.  In Christ, life is not adequate; it is extraordinary.

Dedicate yourself to Christ and life prevails over all the discord others can generate.  Ask simply that the Father might lead you to live in Christ and Christ live in you.

Shalom.

All Believers are called to discipleship.  Please share these words with others.  We live and die together, as one.  My work and your work are God’s work.

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