Friday, May 04, 2007

On the Journey

When I'm trying to unpack the call of Jesus on a person's life, I talk a lot about "the Journey" with Him. The idea is to separate the lifelong process of following Him from the "event" of beginning the journey. Not because that first step isn't important - it is, but that so many seem to linger close to where they began all their lives.

So I work to make people understand that we are to give our lives as testament and testimony to what God has done and is doing in and through us. I was reading today about the work of Robert Webber, who went home to be with the Lord just this week. Webber's call to an Ancient-Future faith resonates with me. I cannot see my part in the story as unrelated to all those followers of Jesus who went before.

Yet, as a present day follower, I rely far more on the written Word than my forbears in the first century did. Sometimes I worry about that. But a quote given by Webber in an interview with Christianity Today a few years back made me understand just how that worked then, and how it should work today

Currently, worship seems to be divorced from the story. It is programmatic and narcissistic. If we resituate worship in the story, then worship tells and enacts the story of God. And God is the subject of that worship rather than the object that we worship. The subject acts on us in worship and forms us into Christ's likeness and thus affects our spirituality.

And today, spirituality, like worship, is divorced from the story. Spirituality is shaped by psychology, shaped by focusing on the self. It's very narcissistic instead of being our continual embodiment of the story. Spirituality is ultimately not having some sort of esoteric experience, but becoming what God created us to be and making the world what God created it to be, a place of his glory.

Hans Urs Von Balthazar said that we need to take a passage of Scripture and so internalize it that we become it. If somebody asks where's Matthew 25, we should be able to say, "Oh, it's walking over there."

Can we point to one another and cite ourselves as a scriptural reference?

Lord, have mercy on me a sinner and give me what I lack to delight your heart.

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