Friday, December 31, 2010

Membership, Covenant and Engagement: Conclusion

Everything that God creates has a purpose; from the tiniest insect to the blue whale, all living beings are made to glorify God. And God creates not only individual creatures, but communities of living things, binding them together in organic systems that reflect the right order of God. Christ draws us into new, covenant relationships with others who are walking the same path of love and faithfulness to God's call. We find that, not only are we no longer alone, but that we have a shared purpose with our new-found spiritual brothers and sisters.

Jesus gave us a simple and sound answer to the question of what we are called to in this life: We must love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength, and love our neighbor as ourselves(1). A simple purpose; but not an easy one. How are we to love in this way? How can we love God and neighbor when our natural inclination is so far from that which God demands of us?

To fulfill God's purpose for us, we must accept that we are incapable of doing so on our own. We are so limited, short-sighted, and self-centered, that the things Jesus ask of us are simply impossible for us when we act from our own strength.

But God loves us: Jesus asks nothing of us for which he does not provide power and strength to carry out. If we wait in stillness on the Holy Spirit, we will be filled by the love of Christ, and that love will show us what we are to do. The Spirit moves in us, prays in us, acts through us - if only we yield to its motion. Christ is present to act in us, making us into people who are capable of walking in his way of love and peace.

Are we ready to turn our lives over to Christ's direction? Are we willing to be filled and changed by the Holy Spirit? Are we prepared to surrender our own will, imitating Christ's submission to the Father?

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1. Mark 12:28-31

2 comments:

Wayne Anson - Micah 6:8 said...

Again very good thoughts. Has the great ring of truth.

Comrade Kevin said...

But this requires we place Christ, and Quakerism at the center of our lives. This would be challenging in and of itself, but the effort is bound to be misinterpreted by others.

If I am perceived as religious, many will believe that my faith is a repressive, limiting sort. Failing that, they may believe that too much focus upon religious practice puts me in the realm of cult behavior. Ignoring this altogether is not often possible, since it may reveal much of why people are completely turned off towards a Godly life.