If Christ’s in Me, and I’m in Him, Then Where in the World Are We?

It is often said that we are in Christ.

And yet, it is also said that he is in us.

What sort of foolishness is that?

I can say that the meat is in the sandwich.  But I couldn’t say that the sandwich is inside the meat.

I could say that there is silver in the earings.  But how could I say that there is earings in the silver?

Things, normally, exist in an order, a hierarchy.  One thing is inside another thing.  You can’t, normally, flip this around.

This mystery is illuminated, some, by the reality that Christ and us must be one and the same.  But this statement is illumination, not explanation.  If it were an ordinary, logical, explanation, a question would arise quite naturally.

“O.K.  If you are some how identical with Christ why aren’t you perfect.”

We try hard to be perfect.  We try even harder to appear perfect.  But we just don’t do it.  We can’t.

My wife is amazing with babies.  Sometimes I think she has mutant  freaky baby-mind control powers.  The fussiest of infants will stop whining when she lifts them up.  The toddler most utterly determined to fight off her afternoon nap will quickly succumb when in her arms.

Me?  Well, to me they seem like little pooping machines.  And they can sniff out my disinterest.  And they kind-of hate me for it.

Being one flesh doesn’t mean we instantly share one brain.  It means we get these opportunities.  Oppurtunities to learn and share and submit our own needs.  We can take on some of the best of what the other person has to offer when we are brave and wise.  We can change for the better; not because we want to be like them, but because the way that they are is the way we should be, too.

I could learn a lot from my wife about how she does it.  There’s probably some stuff that she could never explictly teach me.   But I know that as time went by, if I was open to learning, that there are things that I would learn from her anyway, even though she maybe couldn’t put them all into words.

And when we fail to take Christ up on these opportunities to learn from him, it might appear that we’re robbing only ourselves.  But here is the truth: we are one flesh.  We not only lose out on the opportunity to become a better person.  We hurt the relationship, we hurt the other person, we make things difficult for the both of us.

This is how it is with Jesus himself.  He is in us.  We are in him.  But he is not us.  We are not him.  We can learn so much from him.  He has so much he wants to offer us.  But we must take it on ourselves.  We choose it.

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jeffsdeepthoughts

The stories that speak to our soul begin at a home where things are good. Cinderella is happy with her father. The three little pigs have grown up and are ready to move on. Bilbo Baggins knows his shire. Adam and Eve walk with God in the garden. My story isn’t much different. There was a time and a place where it was so good. There was a community for me. And there was joy. We were filled with a sincere desire to do what God wanted us to do. We possessed explanations and understandings that went a certain distance. We offered security and tradition and laughter. For a lot of years, that was enough. I have this sense that it was also necessary. I have this surety, now, that it certainly wasn’t everything. There were some things that became increasingly problematic as time went by. There was a desire to package things up so very neatly. Sunday morning services were efficient and strategic. Responses to differences of opinion were premeditated. Formula began to feel more important than being real. A real desire for everybody to be one of us, but also a real sense that there is an us, and there is a them. They carried a regret that it has to be this way, but deeper than this regret was a surety that this is how it is. I began to recognize that there was a cost of admission to that group. There were people who sat at the door, collecting it. Those people wished they didn’t have to. But I guess they felt like they did have to. They let some people in, and they left others out. There was a provisional membership. My friends did possess a desire to accommodate people that are different… But it would be best for everyone concerned if they were only a little bit different. I did make many steps forward in this place. Before I went there, there were lies that I believed. Some of the things that I learned there, I still hold on to. But that place is not my home anymore. Those people are not my community anymore. There were times it was hard. I am engaged in a different community now. And I am working hard at finding a place in many different places now, embracing many different kind of families. I don’t always get it right. I am trying and I am learning and I am moving foreward. I have this sense that I am not alone in these experiences. I believe that we are tribe and we are growing. We are pilgrims, looking for a new holy land. Perhaps we won’t settle on the same spot of land. But if you’ve read this far, I am thinking that we are probably headed in the same general direction. I have begun this blog to talk about where my journey is taking me. In every space, we find people who help us along. And maybe we can get to know each other, here. We embrace ideas that provide a structure for the things we believe, and perhaps we can share these too. Maybe we can form a group, a tribe, a community, if we can figure out a way to work through the shadow of these kinds of groups, if we can bigger than the us-and-them ideas that have caused so much trouble in the past. As important as they are, I think the very nature of online interactions will lend itself to something equally powerful. I am stumbling onto these practices that my grandfathers and great grandfathers in the faith engaged in. I am learning about these attitudes and intuitions are so different than the kinds of things we call doctrine today. I don’t know about you, but I am running out of patience, and even interest, in conversations about doctrine. I hope that maybe you’ll share a little something about where your journey is taking you, and maybe our common joys and challenges might help each other along, and we might lift each other up. Thanks for doing this journey with me.

One thought on “If Christ’s in Me, and I’m in Him, Then Where in the World Are We?”

  1. NIV John 16:28 I came from the Father and entered the world; now I am leaving the world and going back to the Father.”

    NIV Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.

    NIV Romans 8:9 You, however, are controlled not by the sinful nature but by the Spirit, if the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ.

    John 16:7 But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you.

    here is a mystery, the tri-unity of God, is Christ in you or is Christ in heaven? Is the Holy Spirit in you or in Heaven? Is the Father in you or is the Father in heaven? Is God in you or in Heaven?

    Like

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