In Romans Paul touches on our next topic for transformation. In Christ, he tells, we are transformed from slavery (slavery to the old ways, to the old Law) to the freedom that is now ours in Christ. Beyond freedom we becomes heirs of the kingdom. (Romans 6:15-23). In the next chapter of Romans he talks about being freed of the written code to a new life in the Spirit. But it is in Romans 8:1 that he sums this up. ..the law of the Spirit of Christ has set you free from the law of sin and death. The Spirit flows like a symphony through Paul’s letters, the repeated refrain of our lives transformed in the Spirit of Christ, the Spirit that remains with us yet today. At Pentecost the resurrected Christ endowed his followers with himself.
Jesus came back to life. He came back to us. He made his return, transformed. And when he had done what he had meant to do, he commissioned his followers to do what he had done in his name. And so before he made his ascent to the Father, another remove from the visible world, he caused his presence to go on. He sent his Spirit, to dwell, strength and guide us.
It is his Spirit that speaks to us today in the mosaics of his life we find in the gospels. This is where we find him. This is where his presence begins to make itself known. And then too, in the community of his followers who gather together in his name. To continue a living relationship by prayer and presence, doing as he did, singing the Psalms and recalling the history of Israel, a history that was his own.
His Spirit remains also with us in the symbols that speak his name, convey his presence and provide for us a means, a way into the reality that is the Christ-life, available to us at each turn of every waking and sleeping (through our dreams and in the peaceful rest that allows the Spirit to take hold of us, to make his unhampered claim upon our lives). To make its imprint upon our souls, so that waking we sense that indeed something, someone has changed our lives.
Like Yahweh of old, his is not found in wood or stone so that he might be found in our hearts.
His Spirit is not all invisible field/meadow/pastureland.
(To be continued)
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