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Posts Tagged ‘oneness’

Welcome carpet

Who is inviting whom inside? Traditionally, we think of our commitment to the Christ as inviting Presence into ourselves, much like Martha opened her home to Jesus. But what if we are missing something critical in the transaction?

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. [Luke 10:38, NIV] Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. [John 15:4, NIV]

Yesterday, I re-discovered a wonderful podcast called “Pray As You Go,” and the question was presented about whose hospitality? For you see, in actuality, it is a two-way street. The Holy Spirit dwells in me and I, in turn, am invited to dwell within the Holy Spirit. I am invited into mutuality.

I am not saying we are equal, not at all. That kind of thinking can get a person into trouble, imagining herself as a God, capable of rendering miracles much like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty.

Instead, it’s another way of thinking about the “secret place,” but more literally, within the heart of God. Because of Jesus’s humanity and godhood, it is possible to indwell Spirit. I am invited. The door is open. And in the same way, I am asked to keep my own doors open to God on earth, the Holy Spirit of Jesus. And the more we spend time within, the more we become one.

I think I may have misunderstood along the way that this oneness was automatic at my transformation, my first “welcome, please come in” acceptance of Jesus. But more and more, I am convinced that it’s a process of living together, like an old married couple. Sure, we’re committed and it’s forever, but the nuances of relationship and “knowing” come over the years.

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right handThe most common reference to “right hand” placement is the right hand of God and the One on this side, that is the Son of Man, the Messiah, Christ Jesus. This is a place of shared power and signifies authority. This norm has carried down through the ages to the point that most “guests of honor” at a dinner table are seated to the right of the host. It is a place of And yet, in Psalm 16, there is a new take on this idea:

I keep my eyes always on the Lord.
    With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. [Psalm 16:8, NIV]

I am moved by this proclamation and realize it should be mine each day. With it, I could give authority to God to move on my behalf and with it I could count on God’s presence to protect me, to guide me, and to support me. In addition to giving God authority, if I could practice keeping my eyes on God, symbolically speaking of course, I could focus my energy and direction, cast off distractions and, potentially, move forward without fear. Oh, what prevents me?

I remember back in acting school when we were introduced to a variety of circus skills, my favorite was tightrope walking because of the visual concentration required, to keep the eyes looking ahead at a single destination point.

But I also remember the story of Peter who walked on water, albeit briefly, as long as he kept his eyes on Jesus. Did he try it again? I always wondered. Did he remember the experience as a success or a failure? He defied, for just a few steps, the laws of gravity and science. He stepped outside the known dimensions of reality. But was it enough to believe?

spiralBut here’s a conundrum:
“You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. [Psalm 16:11, Amplified]

And here, in the same psalm, I am now at God’s right hand, receiving the benefits thereof. An interesting circle: God at my right hand and me at God’s right hand: Oneness. That is the point. Fueling and being fueled, loving and being loved, giving and receiving, all at the same time. Strength to strength [Psalm 84:7].

 

 

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