(Mary Magdalene on The Chosen played by Elizabeth Tabish)
In yesterday’s post, I mused and rambled on about the meaning and notion
of the word “normal”
and that’s because I was playing catch up from having been away from blogland for
nearly a week and I kept reading post after post that each were each exploring
the idea of what is meant by normal.
So after a little investigating, I surmised that normal is a base, a root, a footing
It offers stability as an anchor.
It is a starting point.
It had been my intention to elaborate and to write about the opposite
of normal…that being abnormal.
I intended to relay all of this around the craziness that is currently
taking place across this Nation of ours within our schools.
What with the push, or in some cases the quiet and sinister implementation
of Critical Race Theory into the curriculum of our schools—
along with the push for the teaching of and embracing of transgenderism—
all within our schools and all without the input of our parents.
A dictated sort of agenda, implemented with no regard to parental feelings
or thoughts about what their children should or should not be a part of.
I had intended to address the opposite of normal education with that of abnormal
but then something interceded…something jumped in the way of that train of
thought and is now taking me onto a different and more important thread of thinking.
I watched episode 6 of Season 2 of The Chosen.
These backstories…oh my goodness—
Growing up, reading the Bible—the various individuals that we’ve always
read about, learned about—well, they are people from long ago…
their names are familiar….but are “they” familiar?
Their stories are shared and well known… but them, as actual people, well…
they have always been a bit sterile, obscure…even distant.
As in… they were way back then and we are now—how do we relate?
It seems we can relate on some levels but not so much on other levels.
That’s what I like about The Chosen—granted there is certainly
some artistic interpretations taking place but in the end, it brings
life to these past trailblazers.
They become real life—not bigger than life.
They become like you and me.
Take Mary Magdalene for example.
We know that Mary had lived a hard and tormented life…
that is… until she encountered Jesus.
He healed Mary.
Allowing her to became a new creation in Christ.
End of story right?
Well, most likely not exactly.
This particular episode of The Chosen offers us an example of backsliding.
If you have become a Christian, encountering Jesus on your own personal road
to Damascus, then you must also know backsliding.
It happens to all of us at some point or another.
It can happen on a catastrophic level or it can happen in a small
almost inconspicuous way—but it happens none the less.
We let ourselves down and in turn we feel as if we’ve let the Christ
of our Salvation down.
In the beginning before there was sin—Adam and Eve were “normal”
They were the foundation and starting point in God’s creation.
From them was to grow a people of God.
However, God had afforded them, and in turn us, freewill…and with that freewill,
sin was allowed to enter into that which was normal.
Sin took normal and created the abnormal within creation.
But note the importance here—freewill was freely given.
God knew what He was doing and yes, it would break His heart,
but he did not want to make mindless puppets but rather true children
who had choice.
Real, true, unconditional love allows room for heartache.
Plain and simple.
So no glitch on God’s part, no mistake.
God does not make mistakes.
And in turn there was a freely given choice for man.
Not an easy gift to give…but one freely given and one readily taken.
So back to Mary.
Mary, like all of us, had a past.
Her’s was a dark hard past.
And sometimes we discover that our pasts are hard to walk away from.
How often has someone gotten clean from alcohol, drugs gambling
or even pornography only to fall back into old hurtful patterns?
For reasons we may never understand…some folks get clean,
and or get saved and can walk a pretty straight path afterwards
for the majority of their lives.
For others the walk is not so easy as they fall backwards, time
and time again.
It is hard and it is frustrating and it is painful.
The Chosen explored the idea of Mary falling back into her
old ways–only to feel that now, she was even more than unworthy of Jesus.
He’d healed her once—how could she go back to him knowing she
had thrown away his gift while she reclaimed her tragic past?
It’s like being in a lake, unable to swim any longer, someone
throws you a lifebuoy—and yet you push it back seemingly to prefer
to try saving yourself.
Finally the person who hopes to help has to jump in the get you.
Suddenly you feel an overwhelming sense of shame in having refused the
lifebuoy as you’ve allowed this individual to put him or herself in
jeopardy at your selfish expense.
Yet they save you none the less.
Jesus knew of Mary’s dilemma and in turn sent Simon Peter and Matthew to fetch her–
bringing her back to the fold.
She came back—ashamed.
But Jesus saw no shame in Mary.
He forgave her backsliding.
He embraced her and her brokenness.
Just as he does the same for each of us.
We were normal.
We sinned and became abnormal.
Jesus heals us, mending us to normal…
but everlasting normal comes only when we are truly reunited to and with Him
He takes our abnormal while offering us back normal
deviating from what is normal or usual, typically in a way
that is undesirable or worrying.
For by grace you have been saved through faith.
And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,
not a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV