From a Christian point of view, your heart is who you are as a child of God. It not only reflects your affections and your intentions; your heart is the core of the person you are, and are becoming, in the light of God’s grace!
Jesus speaks of having an untroubled heart even as he himself prepares to face the very troubling consequences of a world wracked by hatred, intolerance and violence.
After a lifetime of doing my feeble best to follow Jesus, I still find it difficult to get my mind around his absence of fear and worry as he stared the prospect of death in the face.
Some of my fellow Christ-followers would ease my mind by easy talk of Jesus’ divinity. Our spiritual tradition, though, always keeps Jesus’ divinity in tension with his humanity.
Jesus’ humanity is evident throughout the gospels as he wept with those who were suffering. Jesus felt compassion for all who were hungry, whether for food or justice. Jesus became angry with people who were so focused on appearing pious they had lost track of their inward spiritual compass. Jesus condemned the taken-for-granted bigotry in the world – the sexism, racism, and classism masquerading as holiness.
Jesus was a human being whose divinity was expressed through a deep and abiding communion with God, whom he addressed as “Abba,” a term of familial intimacy.
Jesus was at peace with the path of his earthly life because he knew that all of life is ultimately blessed and encircled by God’s steadfast love, now and for all eternity.
Jesus invites his followers, then and now, “Believe in God, believe also in me” (see John 14:1-7) ~ an invitation to be in relationship with the Divine. Jesus assures his followers that this act of trusting God is the way to discover a “dwelling place” with God – a place of refuge, safety, and peace!
As we approach Holy Week, and consider the meaning of Jesus’ life and death, spend a few moments recalling Jesus’ untroubled heart, and let his words of peace roll over you like streams of living water ~ “Do not let your hearts be troubled.”
You are a beloved child of God. You have a place in the circle of God’s care. Your life, and all the life you see around you, is held within the abiding and steadfast love of God!
Words (c) 2012 Mark Lloyd Richardson
Photo (c) 2012 Dallis Day Richardson, Yosemite