Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Abi is, really, a very simple abbess. Really. On purpose.

I'm on information overload.  I just cannot process any more complex theology.  Not right now.

I have come to realize over the years that my place in God's Kingdom is to help synthesize some of the complexities in order to remove stumbling blocks to understanding and living the Good News.  For many, the complexities of theology (and all the other "ology"s) suck the life out of the Good News.  There is Good News that is simple enough for the simplest mind to grasp.

Please, let us all grasp that Good News -- before we spend all our heart and soul and mind and strength loving knowledge (that so often puffs up) and then arguing with others (which so often does not take the form of speaking the truth in love) about things that we may or may not really understand all that well -- so that it will radically change the way we see ourselves and those around us, and move us to live loved by God so that we can live loving others.

None of us are cross-cultural enough to "get" everything.  But we must "get" some of the key cultural contexts in order to bring the counter-cultural power of Jesus (and Paul) into our current context.  I have mentioned some of my current thoughts about that here and here.  And some core thinking herehere, and  here.  For those of you who have time on your hands for reading, that is.... ;^)

So, let's have a look at some of the simple things Abi embraces, shall we?
  1. Our heavenly Father loves us with an everlasting love.  Period.  He consistently and faithfully is at work in us and in the midst of life's circumstances to get us to RELAX in that knowledge. Really.
  2. Jesus Christ, from his pre-existence, birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension, was sent from God to show us the Father completely and to reconcile our brokenness.  If you don't get #1, you will not recognize the Truth here in #2.
  3. With God now understood as "our" Father -- our heavenly Papa -- we are to call no man father in that sense. There is no human who has the power to command our total obedience and usurp Papa's place.  Those who have been set free are not to submit to bondage again!  Men, deal with it, please.
  4. We are to understand each other as brothers and sisters first and foremost in all relationships and dealings.  There is to be no more struggle for honor or position or place or power or influence over others.  We are younger siblings of Jesus Christ, Papa's Firstborn.  As Jesus was completely obedient to Papa's will--even unto death--we are to do the same.  Sibling rivalry is deadly.
  5. Jesus is Lord -- and he chose the path of service.  Don't look to be served.  Whatever service you give to others, Jesus receives it as service to himself.  If you don't get #1, you will struggle with this.  Please, get #1!
  6. The Kingdom of God is found in each life journey where Papa's love is received and his will is obeyed.  It is about relationships.  It is a dance.  The Holy Spirit is the Piper and we dance according to the tune played.  Learn to recognize the many tunes in the Spirit's repertoire.  Jesus knows all the steps in the dance--relax and follow his lead.  Really.  RELAX!
If you can find your way to leaning into the power of these six items, the rest is gravy.  Really.  It will sort itself out with time and love and humility.  How?  I don't know -- it truly is a mystery of the Spirit.

If something you read or hear or experience does not line up with them, engage the Spirit's filter and ask for help to sift truth from error.  Be patient.  Ask questions.  Ponder.  Be patient.  Wait for it.  Patiently.

If you would like to see a chart that fleshes this out and shows you some of the steps of the Dance and some of the chords used in the Spirits tunes, I humbly suggest this might be helpful.   It is very dense ... take your time pondering.

You will find lots of other posts and links here to thinking that will help you on your journey ... as well as bring you companions along The Way.

Be blessed.

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