To be insulated from God by legalistic religion is the best way to never be in touch with ourselves or enjoy a deeper intimacy with others.
EMPATHY I’ve been with friends one does not have to talk to continually and with friends who can talk a lot or not. There are friends with whom I can touch base - touch their inner man and they mine. Touched them because they have ‘seen’ themselves. Known themselves through losing themselves and finding themselves in that lostness. To know as we are known comes about via the loss of self in some way. Should we do this in the company of Jesus we will not only begin to know who we are. We will see and know the world as it is, rather than as it is pretending to be. We will fellowship with God’s life, collect elements of this life and be alive. We will touch others with the life we have collected and have become.
‘In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ John 1.4 NIV.
SELF AS GOD
I have been with people who talk non-stop, who talk because they can. I have acquaintances who are more of an economic construct that a person of any real humanity.
There are some who the more they talk the more they reveal that they do not understand themselves, other people or very much about sucking the marrow out of life. They have erected around themselves the externalities and icons of success. Yet their inability to cease ‘doing,’ their short attention spans and unwillingness to stop their endless chatter, suggest that they are afraid of silence, stillness, the thoughts of others, thought itself and genuinely penetrating thought and ideas that are not their own. At the same time, they are apt to call their own limited mental motions ‘common sense.’ With the demise of President Trump and the burgeoning of conspiracy theories, we are right to see this effluvia as common nonsense.
There is a cause of all this. It’s a disconnect from Truth as Person. From Truth as Way and Life.
RELIGION AS GOD
There are those who have a religion, a belief system and a faith. Some think religion situates us close to God. I wonder why so much of the new testament is composed of the story of the Pharisees then.
Religion that is not incarnated with the presence of God separates us from God, from others and ourselves.
When religion is our God we are we are dead men talking. Dead because we are are spiritually blind and blind because any manifestation of the law separates people from God. But they are not in touch with themselves because they are not in touch with God.
What is it about being insulated from God? It separates us from hearing, from sight, from life and most of all from ourselves. Charles Ringma writes, “We are often afraid to he alone. Afraid of what we may discover about ourselves when we stop long enough to he still. Afraid of the insecurities and sins that still lurk within us even though we have tried so hard to sublimate them. Afraid to face our insignificance, lack of fulfilment, and the eventuality of our death. And afraid to face the lack of closure and resolution of issues that we have tried so hard to square away.” (1)
Thank God for Jesus. Alone with God we are never alone. Alone with God we always belong. He is not a generality. He is Jesus. Son of Man and Son of God He joins you to the community of heaven - to Father, Son and Holy Spirit. What better company could there be. By the Spirit of Christ we are never orphans, always sons and always member of the family of heaven and those who have gone before.
TRUTH IS FREEDOM
We can live attached to the law and have conditional, self-generated, belonging. We can live in the inheritance of Christ and have unconditional belonging. The fact is though, that we belong even when we believe we don’t and are convinced we don’t deserve it. But nothing can separate you from the love of God which is the fellowship of the trinity. So why not get with the truth, agree with God and get to like yourself - because God does?
We have this security of being - a security that can survive the buffets that may arise from occasions when we have seen that all we have believed in as truth has been found to be a lie and a delusion. In Christ and the fellowship of the trinity one need never be afraid of the truth for truth is of the same substance and nature of the Holy Family who nurture us and who are the womb and the potency of all creation. Living in the consciousness that we belong and always will, we have a security and the certainty that we are significant and that our journey will always be purposeful because we are included and aligned with the love and the purpose of the universe in Jesus Christ.
Because Jesus is the Truth you never have to be afraid of the truth.
(1) Charles Ringma. Dare to Journey--with Henri Nouwen (Designed for Influence) (Kindle Locations 57-59). Kindle Edition.