Seek and You Shall Find

IMG_1218

What makes Jesus unforgettable is that he is first and foremost human. His vulnerability touches us. From ordinary beginnings, born in a stable, he drew others to him from the moment of his birth. Shepherds roused from their night-watch go in search of him. Wise men from far away make the long journey to behold the promised One. It is the universal hope for a better life; for the hero who will make all things right again. The impression he made on all who encountered him never left them. His disciples and followers, evangelist and story tellers, the women and those he healed, those who heard his voice in the synagogue and those who heard him on the grassy rise not far from the sea, would not forget him. He came back to them and lived on in them and in the stories they began to tell in order to keep his memory alive. To keep him alive. They began to piece together like a tapestry woven of the many encounters of him come back to life, where he raised from the dead their faith which now took fire and word began to spread across the countryside and throughout the Mediterranean world. Many sought him out while he lived. And over the centuries many more seek him yet.

We are yet Plato’s children, searching for what is true, to lift the veil, to seek, find and become one with our divine origins. To return to the state of our souls, when we knew God, when we walked in the garden with him, before we covered ourselves and hid, and entered the fog of forgetfulness.  We are ever in search of the unity, the wholeness and well-being we sense is our birthright; who we know ourselves to be, or who we can become. It seems ever to elude us, just beyond the horizon, over the hill, behind the leaves we might push aside and there we are –whole, loved, to know as we are known; to redeem our wayward wandering, to come to the source and goal of our existence and thereby give meaning to that existence. This is the human impetus, this is the story of Israel, of Jesus, of all stories of origins that really stories of goals, the continual theme of our lives, studies, journeys, seeking and searching. To calm the disquieted soul who knows itself and can advance in that confidence. In his very humanity Jesus shows us the way. He shows us what it means to be a human being. As we journey with Jesus through the gospel it is not titles only that we discover, but qualities of beingness. Qualities of being human which in this one person we can begin to see ourselves and achieve what it is we have been searching for since we left the garden, crossed the wilderness and a thousand rivers, to make our home no longer in a place, but in a promise and in a person.

Advertisements

The Earthed Spirituality of Christ

 

 footprints    Recently my twelve year old grandson said something rather profound. He wasn’t going for profundity, but rather was instructing his grandmother on the art of football. He said that in football never let your feet leave the ground. That’s when you get hurt. He explained: Don’t jump over people or jump on top of the other guy(s). My grandson knows whereof he speaks.

Seems to me this can apply to life as well. We often associate the spiritual life with living in some airy fairy world that is above or even beyond our all-too-real lives. That it floats above us in some rarified atmosphere that we must jump through hoops to access. That spirituality is something over and above human life, real life.  It seems Pentecost is saying something different. That the Spirit of Christ that comes to us is that of a real person who embodies both the human and sacred. His Spirit endows us with his image and likeness. With his humanity as well as his sacredness. This spirituality is a grounded spirituality. Grounded in Christ. Grounded in our very real and often difficult lives, as it was in his.  It is my experience that unless we have your two feet firmly planted in your life, God cannot put his two foot there either. And when we do and he does, nothing we do can separate us, as Paul says, from the love, the experience, the presence of Christ Jesus.

Paul talks about modeling ourselves on the lived example that Christ embodied. Paul often too refers to the mind of Christ. The mind of Christ seen in his actions. What we observe first and foremost is a man living an authentic life true to who he knew himself to be. He was in solidarity with others; celebrating their marriages, eating and drinking with his friends, for which he was roundly criticized, tending to their physical and spiritual needs, standing between himself and evil spirits, and talking to those who began to follow him, telling them stories about another way of being which he called the kingdom. He sought to give others sight, and new ways of looking at life, and at his Father, whom he said we could see in him. So why is the way we look at God, so very different from how we see Jesus? Or at least how he is represented in the gospel accounts of his life. He wanted others to hear, not the old ways, which obviously were not only not working, but were causing people more difficulties than intended. And what he intended, what he wanted for his followers, was a different kind of peace, a different way of living the faith of Israel, which he now embodies in his Spirit.

It is this Spirit, his Spirit that has been given us. One that gives life. One that is real, earthed, and is an abiding presence, the awareness of which he tried valiantly to bring to our attention by his very life and humanity, a presence that would was not, is not, deterred by those killing his body. The man who walked the Road to Emmaus and sat by the sea shore cooking breakfast for his friends, was again, showing us that the realm of heaven, of the eternal, of the sacred, is one with this world of flesh and blood, earth and sky, road and seashore, which nothing can deter, restrain, contain or destroy. For his Spirit is absolutely the Spirit of freedom. The Spirit of love. The Spirit of an abiding presence that is as close as the wind on our faces, as real as our heart beats and as available to us as our believing it is so.