Friday, November 9, 2007

Jesus: Embodied Spirituality

Came across this great passage today in Eugene Peterson's Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places:
Jesus is the name that keeps us attentive to the God-defined, God-revealed life. The amorphous limpness so often associated with "spirituality" is given skeleton, sinews, definition, shape, and energy by the term "Jesus." Jesus is the personal name of a person who lived at a datable time in an actual land that has mountains we can still climb, wildflowers that can be photographed, cities in which we can still buy dates and pomegranates, and water which we can drink and in which we can be baptized. As such the name counters the abstraction that plagues "spirituality."

Jesus is the central and defining figure in the spiritual life. His life is, precisely, revelation.

Theology, spirituality, Christian living . . . they can quite easily and subtly be for the Christian a disorienting morass of ego and imagination when when we take our eyes off of Jesus.
I know that, for me, when I begin to feel bogged down in some theological conundrum or spiritual mystery, I am swiftly delivered when I realize I am following A Problem and not fixing on The Truth.

If we reckon ourselves spiritual, we will do well to ask first "Which spirit?," and if our answer is, as it should be, "The Holy Spirit," we should then ask second, "Where do I see a spiritual life most integrated with that Spirit?". And our answer to that should of course be "Jesus."

God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
-- John 4:24

I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
-- John 14:6

Spirituality With a Capital "S"
Jesus Plus Nothing