Behold The Lamb by Robin Smit

Forward by Jason Clark

 

 

 

 

I was honored to write the forward for Robin Smit’s new book, Behold the Lamb which releases today! I can’t recommend it more!

 

FORWARD

 

I was raised in, as Robin writes, Western Evangelical Christianity, where “the false doctrines of ‘original sin’ and a punitive atonement narrative groomed (me) to see a harsh, damning, aloof, and distant god, quick to condemn.”

I’ve never actually met that God. Since I can remember, Jesus has been my best friend, and He has been nothing but kind. But for my first 35 years, because of Evangelical teaching on original sin, and that damning lie of separation, I tip-toed around our Father. Then, many years ago, Eva and I drove to, as she called it, “City Town.” She was two.

Eva is my daughter, whom I love. With her, I have always, and will always be, well pleased.

On the drive, I began to sing a song I’d woken up humming—the lyrics both arrested and haunted me.

I love You, Lord, I lift my voice; to worship You, oh my soul, rejoice!
Take joy, my King, in what You hear. Let it be a sweet, sweet sound to Your ear.

That morning, I felt desperate, lonely, and overwhelmed by my family’s significant needs, my failing business, Adam’s finished work, and Jesus’s never-ending unfinished work. I would have never said it that way, but I lived each day as though it were true. As Robin brilliantly explains, I was “striving and doing religious works to find favor with the distorted god of (my) imagination who was nothing like the God who yearned for (me) to know Him as Daddy!”

“Take joy, my King, in what you hear,” I begged in hopes that my perceived distant Father might see me as more than the sum of Adam’s fall.

“No, Daddy,” Eva corrected, and then she started singing, “B. I. N.E O! and Binno was his name-o.” Her innocent correction interrupted my loneliness. I grinned, matching my melody and words with hers, “B. I. N. E. O.” we sang with abandon. I was all right replacing the G. with an E.

As we arrived at “City Town,” Eva pointed out all the “ocitons” — stop signs.
Her older brother had been learning his shapes. Octagons were his favorite.

But I barely heard her ociton ramblings as I wallowed in the lie of separation. It seemed to me there was some measureless distance between God and myself, and no matter what I did, or maybe, thanks to Adam, because of what I did, I couldn’t bridge it.

If Adam had been sitting next to me, I would have punched him in the mouth.

Eva broke in again, saving me with her childlike trust, “Daddy, I aff a secret.” She continued all bright-eyed. “Let’s go a mdonals.”

I mirrored her smile. She was so beautiful; my heart was full to the brim with her goodness. She wanted to go to McDonald’s with her Daddy and have it be our secret. What made it even sweeter— she couldn’t keep a secret.

Our joyful communion confronted, as Robin notes, my “mindset of dualism that made it challenging for (me) to recognize (my) true identity as God’s image-bearer, intended to reflect His nature of Love on earth.”

Ironically, I had no problem recognizing LOVE’S identity reflected in my daughter…

“Take joy, my King, in what you hear,” I sang, desperate. “Let it be a sweet, sweet sound in Your ear… I continued, reveling in every second with my daughter while begging God to come near.

“OK, let’s go eat,” I said to Eva after finishing my errands. We didn’t go to McDonald’s, but we did stop at Phat Burrito, which is one of the best eats in “City Town.” I told Eva the name of the restaurant while we waited in line, again while we got a Coke. We shared a quesadilla and tacos. As we ate, Eva asked, “Daddy, what’s this?” And then, “Fat bummito!”

I smiled. “That’s right, hun, it’s a fat bummito.” I didn’t mind exchanging the “r’s” for some “m’s.”

While we ate, my mind cried out again. Where are you, God? I begged from my insecure faith in the separation of original sin. If Adam had been sitting with us, I’d have spit in his food.

As Eva and I headed home, I prayed out loud: “I am desperate for You!” Then Eva interrupted with the voice of my Father, pointing, “Ociton! Daddy! Ociton!”

Suddenly, I had two thoughts. Both bursting with grace and life!

First, “What if my Father felt about me the way I feel about Eva?”

Then, “When you love someone, you learn to speak their language. I am Eva’s Dad. I know her head-to-toes. I love her fiercely and intimately. I am fluent in her language and speak it to her often. But she is also learning a language—mine.

Maybe it’s time to learn my Father’s language?”

Behold The Lamb is a profoundly beautiful invitation to learn our Father’s language. Jesus was the walking revelation of our original design, “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world,” started with Adam from the foundations of the world. This book invites us to step away from the lie of separation and discover the original Truth of a LOVE that never leaves or forsakes us and restores all things.

Robin Smit is a wonder. Her writing is the perfect blend of arithmetic and poetry, wisdom and grace, knowledge and impartation. Her words are full of the innocent conviction of my two-year-old daughter and the profound understanding of our early church Fathers and Mothers. She breaks down the Church’s “ociton” understandings with a grace that empowers us to know our Father the way Jesus knew Him. And to learn His language.

On every page is an invitation to ask what if?

What if “loss and separation were mere constructs of Adam’s mind” and there has never been “separation between heaven and earth, God and man?”

What if “religion keeps us in bondage to a pagan idea of separation from God?”

What if we could trade “the faulty lens of Adam’s fall for the crystal-clear image of Christ’s restoration?”

What if Jesus “is the Lamb who took away the sin of the world, and that old life no longer exists?”

What if “God sent His Son as Savior because He loves us, because we are His good pleasure!?”

Then maybe we could live each day confidently singing, “Take joy, my King, in what you hear, I am a sweet, sweet sound to Your ear!”

Behold The Lamb is the book you take with you on your journey to “City Town.” In its pages is the incarnational Christ who sings B.I.N.E.O! with abandon— who knows us intimately and is all right replacing the G. with an E. while at the same time introducing us to our native tongue. In its pages is the language of our original design and our restored innocence. In its pages is an opportunity to rethink the restorative nature of Dad’s love and our place in the family. In its pages is the Truth that sets us free.

Behold The Lamb is an invitation to discover we are His children, that He loves, and that He has always and only been well pleased.

 

To purchase the book CLICK HERE

Jason Clark is a relational theologian — a storyteller who writes to reveal the transforming kindness of the love of God. He has authored several books, including, Leaving and Finding Jesus, & Prone to Love. He is the lead communicator at  A Family Story and co-host of Rethinking God with Tacos PODCAST. He and his wife, Karen, live in North Carolina with their four children, Madeleine and Joseph, Ethan, and Eva.

1 Comment

  1. Bernd Ockelmann

    Thank You a lot for writing this forward. That‘s exactly, what I think. I also suffered from this myth of separation and I asked me, whether this could be called “Good News“! If Jesus is mirroring his (our) father, where is the problem?
    If I do make many errors – I’m a bit like your daughter, not knowing your language exactly.

    Reply

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

YOU ALSO MIGHT LIKE…

Cops and Jehovah’s Witnesses

Wth love, everyone is in! There are no outsiders! Everyone is included in this family…

Seven Reasons Why I Don’t Belong to a Political Party

In this highly charged political season of us and them, we must not find our belonging or identity in a political party or persona. Otherwise, we become lost.

Jesus, The Objective Definition Of The Word Good

When I use the word good to describe God, I am not communicating subjectively. I’m not making “a god to my own liking,” as offended brothers and sisters have occasionally suggested. My subjective thoughts don’t get a say in how Jesus defined the word, and Jesus is the revelation of what good means.

FRANCOIS DU TOIT / JESUS IS WHAT GOD BELIEVES ABOUT YOU

Francois is an author most known for his current work, The Mirror Bible. In this interview, Francois talks about our Father’s great affection, inclusion, grace, intimacy, ministry, and the unveiled revelation of love! He also shares some of his story and how he came to write The Mirror Bible.

DAVID HEWITT / RECONSTRUCTING ECCLESIA

In this conversation, David Hewitt and the guys discuss Church and deconstruction without throwing the baby out with the bathwater.’ David shares his story as a pastor as he rediscovers the ecclesia through a grace-orientated, Trinitarian lens. 

BRIAN ZAHND / Jesus Is The Interpretation

The Bible cannot be the foundation we build upon, the foundation is Jesus. Brian Zahnd talks on how to approach scripture, American Nationalism, Trump’s Bible photo Op during the George Floyd protests, equality, and contemplative prayer in this brilliant and transformative Podcast.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share This

Share this post with your friends!