relinquishing ourselves into Christ's rest...

There was a wise post shared within the United Church of Christ recently that included the following insight:  "This 'savior' stuff does not come naturally to our competent, self-reliant, 'can do' culture.  We're all for healing the world but less inclined to admit we also need a healer. We can identify racism, sexism and xenophobia in our culture, but be slow to admit the need to exorcise those demons from ourselves.'"  Such is the legacy of our lop-sided Reformed tradition that equates being "created in the image of God" with possession of knowledge and reason and relentless productivity. Not that rational thought or social engagement for justice is absent from our intimacy with the Holy, of course; it is simply not the whole story. In Joseph Driskill's highly practical and instructive book, Protestant Spiritual Exercises: Theology, History and Practice, he reminds us:  

+ First, that our creation includes both breath and dust, spirit and matter, imagination and living flesh.

+ Second, that our creation in God's image is much more living in relationship to love, mercy and justice than abstract, rational thought.

We are created with a capacity to be in relationship with the creating, sustaining, loving, compassionate power of the universe. Being thus created means that at the most profound level of existence we are not alone; we have the potential to be in a relationship with God. (p. 13)

Jean Vanier pushes this deeper noting that "the Holy Spirit has revealed to (our) age that is obsessed with (human) achievement that the essential value of each person lies not in the intelligence, but in the wisdom of the heart."  To be fully alive in a creative relationship with the Divine is NOT something we ourselves can manufacture. It is a gift of the Spirit, born of a Savior who calls us to rest in God's love rather than work ourselves into anxiety. "Come unto me all ye who are tired and heavy laden and I will give thee rest." (Matthew 11: 28) In this rest, what some speak of as surrender but might better be named relinquishing, we find both the energy to live by love rather than productivity and the desire to cease competition. This rest gives birth to a secret power of healing.  A video from L'Arche puts it like this:
Such are my thoughts after spending this day, my Sabbath, at rest.


Popular Posts