Monday, September 12, 2011

Incarnational Spirituality

I have shared in previous posts this summer some musings about my spirituality. This has been a wonderful discipline for my personal enrichment, even as I write in order to get to know my new congregation. This week, I pick up where I left off a few weeks ago.

After sharing some of my faith story, I reflected on the dynamic tension between my spirituality of “retreat” and “creativity,” and then between my spirituality of “risk” and “roots.”

Today I’d like to share about one of the two deep mysteries of Christian faith, one which I have embraced as a central part of my walk with God. It’s the incarnation. This is the great mystery that the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, that God crossed over the great divide and the divine became human in Christ. I like to call our journey of living into this mystery our “incarnational spirituality.”

What that means for me is that whenever we gather in Christ’s name, Jesus is here. And he’s real. This is a promise he made that is not just about worship, and we sell ourselves short when we assume that it is. It’s true when we are feeding the hungry, caring for the elderly, counseling the hurting, loving the poor, or teaching God’s children. It’s also true when we hold meetings, tend to the business of the church, or sort out our differences with our brothers and sisters in Christ. Christ is pervasively present and I’m passionate about that.

For me, Christianity is about practicing the presence of God. It’s true in all things, not just some things. There is no divorcing the divine from the human. If we pay attention, we will notice the ways and places God is at work beneath the surface. When I live into that vision, it transforms everything!