We have clues to the spirit, his spirit in the life left behind. In the traces, the footpath, that he marked in his earthly life and upon his return. Down the road to Emmaus, beside the lake, in the garden, in an upper room that could not bar the entrance of his spirit upon them. Tongues of fire. To set them aflame with a task that would lead many of them to an end like his. But with the full realization that theirs would not be an end, but merely an entrance to the life he showed them comes to those who find him and follow him, across the landscape of their lives, in the horizon of being just ahead that draws us, beyond ordinary things to do extraordinary things, but mostly that all too ordinary task of telling his story, telling him, telling Jesus, whom they now knew to be the Christ, because he came back. Because he did not leave them, because liberation was not from kings and oppressors, but the liberation of the heart that dwells in peace and seeks peace, prosperity and abundance for all, even ones enemies. Risky business this.
He continues in the symbols used to carry on his Spirit – in the story, his words and in the imagination of those who would remember the changes that he brought to their lives. We find him where our souls and psyches from which rise the timeless images of humankind. When we become the mangers in which he was laid at his birth, he is the becoming thing in us. He is born in the world and in us. This becoming thing is the Christ-Self within us – that which can become itself in God.
The poet Rilke says the advent of the coming thing in us is always just ahead, not behind. Rilke was a poet and a mystic. His sensibility of some deeper reality that he tries to convey appears in his poetry and his writing. Like Paul he shows us another way of seeing, another way of seeing reality. Yet very much the way of the natural world. It is the leadings, the promptings of his Spirit, and the gospel of our lives where Jesus the Christ becomes the author, a principle actor, agent, and the stories conclusion.
Albert Schweitzer said at the conclusion of his search for the real (i.e. the historical Jesus).
He comes to us as One unknown, without a name, as of old, by the lakeside. He came to those who knew Him not. He speaks to us the same words: ‘Follow me’ and sets us to the task which He has to fulfill for our time. He commands. And to those who obey Him, whether they be wise or simple, He will reveal Himself in the toils, the conflicts, the suffering which they shall pass through in His fellowship, and as an ineffable mystery, they shall learn in their own experience who He is.
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