Monday, July 30, 2012
"unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace"
A life worthy of the calling. . . .
How does one live a life that is completely humble and gentle (v.2)?
Pride and violence fill our world.... How does one become completely humble, completely gentle?
The text tell us that we each have grace "as Christ apportioned it..." How much grace is required to live this kind of perfection? Moreover, the text insists that Christ is going to keep sending preachers and evangelists and teachers until we have all reached this point of perfection: "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (v. 13)
At this point we will be able to unify our love and our truth telling--"speaking the truth in love." In short, we will have reached maturity. How can truth be spoken in a way that embodies love? This is a hard question to answer, especially in a world such as ours in which peoples' sense of themselves is so dependent on deception(s). We are terrified of being unmasked. To confess our lies. To admit to those central lies around which we form our notions of "the self," of ourselves... In particular, the lie that we do not really need other people. There are other lies--- the more busy... the more important. That my good taste, good sense, smarts, depth, insight, pragmatism, makes me better/ more loveable/ more beloved than my neighbor. Every once in a while God gives us the deep blessing of letting us know that God loves all the people of the world, all of them, with the same passionate intensity with which God loves us. At these moments we have a special kind of humility. It is not the humility born of self-abnegation, of denying the beauty of our tiny little corner of the cosmos. No! It is the humility born of plenitude, born of knowing that God so loves the World, the whole world, that God's love can fill the whole world. .. That the intensity of love... that in my dearest moments I feel flowing from God to my heart... that God has that same overwhelming love for everyone.
In those moments, we reach a certain maturity and in the moments we cannot help but feel the unity of the Spirit, the bond of peace.....