In Him?
Off the Wall, May 12,
2016

John Fordehabble from Happsedopple, Minnesota, asked Harry Wadlemaddle, his neighbor, one day, a question about his girlfriend, “What do you see in her, after all?

Taken aback by that untimely question, Harry stated, “Why do you ask?” “Well, I see you hugging her and even holding her hand on occasion. You must really like her,”
John said.

“I do,” Harry said. “Ann is friendly, neat in appearance and always encourages me.”

Then John made a statement that Harry didn’t expect. “I bet you really don’t see anything in her. You are just putting me on…”

That really got him. “What do you mean by that?”

“Well, when it comes right down to it,” John, “you can’t see ‘in her’ anymore than I can see ‘in her.’ If I could do that, I could describe her arteries, watch her food being digested and so forth and so on. As it stands, I can only admire her attributes just as much as you love her many characteristics, but neither of us can see ‘in her,’ per se.

That’s why I tell people we, in this country, speak, any old way, and nobody seems to care. But by all means don’t state we speak English in these the United States of America. English is the language spoken by those who live in England. We stab at letters in the dark and come up with words, names and expressions with no origin connected.

Years ago when I became a Christian, I started receiving letters from others who subscribed to my faith’s leaning. As part of their salutations, they would always end the letter with two words, “In Christ.” I really didn’t understand why friends and parishioners would end their letters this way, so I decided to do my own thing which, in my opinion, meant more to me than the two words mentioned.

What conveyed a message, yet spoke volumes were the words, “In Christ Who Loves Us All.” I wasn’t happy in stating, “In Christ.” I wanted to get the message out that here was a Savior that loved us all regardless of where we lived, came from, color, language spoke, etc. It didn’t matter what blessings or talents others had, if they only had one arm, a huge tumor on one’s face, or a single finger on one’s right hand. He loves us all.

In my research I came upon this bit of knowledge from fromdeathtolife.org, which I found interesting. “The phrase ‘in Jesus’ describes and expresses a physical relationship which is dependent on space and time and physical contact, a relationship that can be made or broken as physical presence and absence alternate. The phrases ‘in Christ,’ and ‘in the Lord,’ on the other hand, describe a spiritual relationship to a person not limited by time and space, a relationship to the everliving Christ and the everywhere present risen Lord.”

The author goes on to state, “The truth which is ‘in Jesus’ is the truth lived and taught by Jesus on earth before His resurrection and exaltation; and to be taught ‘in Him,’ that is, ‘in Christ,’ is for the believer to learn from the risen Christ and to hear the voice of the living Christ in his heart.”

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1693, it states, “Christ Jesus always did what was pleasing to the Father, and always lived in perfect communion with Him. Likewise Christ’s disciples are invited to live in the sight of the Father ‘who sees in secret,’ in order to become ‘perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

“(1694) Incorporated into Christ by Baptism, Christians are ‘dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus’ and so participate in the life of the Risen Lord. Following Christ and united with Him, Christians can strive to be ‘imitators of God as beloved children, and walk in love,’ by conforming their thoughts, words and actions to the ‘mind…which is yours in Christ Jesus,’ and by following His example.”

The website clearly states, “To be in Christ is to be raised with Christ from the dead and be alive to God in Him (Rom 6: 8-11). Having passed from death to life with Christ, all believers are in Christ. To be a Christian is to be in Christ. Praise be to God for His love toward us in Christ Jesus.”

Having an ongoing relationship with our Lord Jesus Christ, I will have no problem signing my communiqué ‘In Christ.’


- Paul J. Volkmann
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