PRESENCE OF LIFE
While at Yosemite National Park I perceived a spirit of quiet joy and celebration among the people. I believe they were responding to the presence of God as witnessed in His creation. I wondered how many of them knew that there was a Spirit who manifested these wonders, whose name was Jesus Christ, the Son of God. These mounts and rocks, waterfalls and peaks are awesome in themselves. But they are not sacred as some would have it. Sacredness is a function of relationship – found in the meaning of ourselves and God as we rejoice in the landscape of which we are a part.
We need not be pantheists to sense that God is incarnated in creation. Nor need we be deists who think that God created and then withdrew and left the creation to itself. God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. It is Jesus the Christ who draws all things together into Himself. The new creation includes the renewed us and the renewed earth.
Just as we have not created sacredness because we have read a text or series of scriptures from the Bible, so things are not sacred because we have labelled them so by tradition or religiosity. Christ is in you. God was with people before the cross. After the cross God incarnated Himself in George and Joan and Tom and Phillis.
God is personal and communal and the community includes society, the biosphere and the physical environment. Beware of any ‘gospel’ that posits the healing of limbs and leaves undone the healing of the earth or worse – the monetisation of nature and the gospel of mammon. Torrance observes what Athanasius saw clearly. He insisted that “It would be more godly and true to signify God from the Son and call him Father, than to name him from his works and call him Unoriginate (ἀγένητον)’. It follows from this, however, that our understanding of God as Creator must likewise be taken from the Son, for it is through the Son and Word who is eternally in God and proper to his essential nature that God is the Creator and Maker of everything.” (1)
Father is known as Father is through the Son. A personal Jesus as our life makes us one with Father and reveals Him to our hearts as He is. As sons we participate in the Fatherhood of God in the fellowship of the trinity to which Jesus has introduced us and made us family – not notionally but in spirit and in truth.
Separation ended following the cross. Union with God of a most intimate kind began following the resurrection. Joined to God we become holy because God is holy. Belonging to the Family of God we create sacred time, space and a new creation because we are alive and sacred as the family of God. Sacredness is where you are when you live in in what is your inheritance: The incarnation. You are woven into God and now you are able to weave sacred life into all you touch.
Satan deceived Adam into separation. Adam was already ‘as God.’ Not deity, but one with God in nature and expression as a son of God. The bogus prize Satan used to seduce them - the Ponzi type scheme that many still live in intimated that ‘being like God’ would be achieved in separation from God. Your reality - the reality of sonship - is that God and you are like each other and you belong together. By the cross which we call the at-one-ment the trinity conspired to make union with God a reality. In doing so we have become united with truth, love and life in the person of Jesus Christ.
We can experience much joy in the wilds amidst the grandeur or subtlety of landscape. But we miss a lot if this is our only medium of the revelation of God to our spirit. You can do better than purchasing photos of the Rockies with scriptures on them and hanging them in your lounge room. You and Father are one. Jesus has made you one with Himself and Holy Spirit. You have the same companionship and togetherness with the Holy Family that Jesus has.
A pastor once urged us to memorise scriptures so that if we were cut-off from our Bible and other people in dire circumstance we would be able to draw life from the scripture we had memorised. The fact is that God’s presence is mediated through Himself and His ever present spirit with us and in us. God is in the reality that is your reality. Not confined to some religious reality contained in a book depicting someone else’s reality with God many centuries ago. He is in you now, woven into your being and with you as a distinct and real person. This is the incarnation and our life in the Spirit.
Christ is all and in all. To live in this you may need to give up living from things that have no life – like religious routines, holy days and the artificial notion of sacred and secular times and spaces that assume SEPARATION. God is in you and woven through you. He imparts Himself to the creation through you – if you are willing to live from incarnation rather than from the illusion of separation.
(1) Torrance, Thomas F.. The Trinitarian Faith: The Evangelical Theology of the Ancient Catholic Church (T&T Clark Cornerstones) (p. 76). Bloomsbury Publishing. Kindle Edition.