Touchpoints on Spiritual Growth
“And yet, even in my denial, betrayal and taking flight, “THE WORD OF GOD CAME,” the Christ comes to me in my denial and betrayal, and like a good shepherd pursues me in my flight away from him.”
“You see, for Jesus, life isn’t about being right or wrong. It’s about relationships. The greatest commandment isn’t, ‘Be right with all your heart soul and mind.’ No, it’s ‘Love with all your heart soul and mind.'”
“Jesus takes on the ultimate exclusions, murder and death. And transforms them into resurrection and life. You see, even exclusion gets taken up into the Mystery and is transformed into healing and wholeness. Jesus forbids forbidding by transforming it, not excluding it.”
Grace and Peace to you from the mystery in whom we live and move, and have our being. “First let the children eat all they want,” he told her, “for it is not right to take the children’s bread and toss it to the dogs.” Mark 7: 24-37 Let’s get one thing perfectly clear before we begin this Touchpoint… I am not a theologian. I am not Jim Hanson, Sheri Brown, Conrad Braaten, Henry Rojas, or any of the many educated and…
“Like [the Pharisees], we might be a little disappointed to learn, at this late stage in life and after this long trek, that some of the biblical formulas we’ve clung to are wearing thin.”
Which kind of disciple am I? I am all of them. Sometimes I walk away from the Christ, and the flesh and blood the Christ inhabits. “Lord, when did I see you hungry, or thirsty, or in prison?” Sometimes I declare as well, “Lord, to whom shall we go? This is where I experience life at its deepest level.” And sometimes I betray it all.
Maybe all of existence is part of “I Am.” And so when we eat, we eat “I Am.” And when we breathe, we breathe “I Am.” And when we open our eyes in the morning we see “I Am.” And when we touch, and listen and take in the whole world, we are taking in “I Am.”
To shake off the dust you’ve picked up following Jesus is to leave something holy behind. Dare we hope – as we leave a place where we are not welcome – to leave behind a little peace, a little joy, to leave a tinge of compassion hanging in the air?
You see, for Jesus, the Holy Spirit is not something you can name and claim. It is so far beyond you and me that no family or religious system can contain it. It is free to blow wherever it will and it catches up all kinds of people in its presence.
Does God discipline? Does God correct? I hope so. Otherwise, what hope do I have? Actually God doesn’t just discipline and correct, God kills and raises to new life, God brings about death and resurrection.
“Repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” (Luke 24 :36b-48) What a strange way to talk about repentance. I mean, how does one proclaim repentance?
The Philippians passage says that we are to have the mind of Christ, and that means not counting equality with God as something to be grasped, exploited, taken advantage of. But isn’t that the goal of Christianity and religion in general. To become god-like. To be equal in purity with God. To declare that I have the righteousness of God within me and impose it on others?