Working Out Salvation
Dinner in the backyard beneath the redwood tree. Good food – and drink – and conversation. The whole family's together. Now, sitting on the deck reading Zen and the Birds of Appetite by Thomas Merton. My daughter lights up Vivaldi on her stereo and the sounds leak into the yard. The weather is perfect. The sun is setting. The landscape is quiet. These are moments of grace and mercy.
I’m thinking about the end of the ethics series, and contemplating what it has done to me. I began knowing that these things needed addressing. I finished knowing that talking about them isn’t enough. By the end, the daily juxtaposition of news and Bible study was undoing me. My heart was heavy enough that I would come to tears, whether watching the news or reading the Bible. Our world is so broken, the needs so vast, our own hearts so divided. We are in need of transformation, in need of a faith that moves out beyond the arguments about election and free will, and into the streets with the good news that Jesus life and death changed everything. But it is folly to declare that good news with words alone, just as it is, I believe, follow to declare it with actions alone. To the extent that Christ’s Lordship is real in our lives, His reign will be real; not only in our hearts but in the whole of our lives – and in our life together as a community.
When I think about what movements have best embodied this holistic vision for salvation, the Celtic Christians of the 3rd through 6th centuries surely come to mind first. Having little room for a firm wall of division between matter and spirit, sacred and secular, they had eyes to see Christ’s glory, and His heart, for all of life. That’s why I’m part of the fellowship of
As I move into the fall, I'm praying for our community - praying that we will become increasingly open to the revolutionary life to which Christ calls us, willing to walk towards the cross so that we might, in our experience, know the mercy, hope, joy, generosity, and healing power that is His resurrection life.