Posts Tagged ‘Divine Human’

The Holy and the Ordinary

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

With the Easter season starting, I struggle with how to capture its brilliance for those just starting to touch Christianity.   I have heard people say that the miracle is Christ’s resurrection from the dead… that that is the point.  Maybe so.  Others speak of themes more transcendent, more theological … the very saving of mankind.  Maybe so.

Not that these perspectives are without merit.  They are.  They contain great, overarching truth.  But the original 12 disciples did not choose to give their lives to follow Christ because of them.  These events undoubtedly reinforced their call but Easter followed their decision to give their lives in service to the world Christ spoke to.

So how to speak to it all in ways that we can see, really see the miracle?

The miracle for me pulls back to this thread.  At Christmas, we hear of “Immanuel, “God with us.”  At Easter we see “Immanuel”, “God with us.”  A God with us in celebration, gathered around a Passover table, gently washing the disciples feet as a sign of how we are to live and lead.  A God with us in fear and devastating loss, so clearly offering a final judgment on mankind with words beyond what we could ever utter, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.”  A God with us in resurrection, in life born anew with the simple call to “Rejoice.”

Somewhere, “God with us”, calls to this.. that Christ is the marriage of the Divine and the Human.  God with skin on.  The Holy and the Ordinary.  A Humanity at its God-intended best.   A model worthy of following in our own broken ways.  God with us.

What does it mean to say Jesus was the “Son of God”?

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

For the New Church, the figure of Jesus is THE central religious image.  Often referred to as the Divine Human, Jesus is seen as the very embodiment of God.  His life was a life of moving more and more into that power, a power of His Human being made completely Divine.

Interestingly, Jesus never says, literally, that He is “the Son of God” preferring instead the phrase that He is “the Son of Humanity.”  Why is that?  It is my best understanding that Jesus consistently focused on the unity of God, the unity of creation, the unity between the spiritual and natural.  We are the one’s who broke it apart, creating a paradigm where the sacrifice of a son atoned for the sins of masses to avoid the world’s destruction by an angry God – the Father.  That is more a human story unfortunately, a human paradigm, than God’s.

Reading the text can yield that position but a deeper reading appears to support a Man whose primary concern, primary love was people, was compassion.  Christianity then turns from being a belief system – “Do you believe Jesus died for your sins?” – to a creed of life, a creed of consequential faith in which love of others, includes one’s enemies, is the ultimate fruit.

Jesus used many metaphors for His life.  “I am the way, the truth, the light ….”  Few of us would take those statements literally.  We would see the far deeper poetic truth within it.  References to the Son of God are likewise pieces of poetic truth that help to unfold a deeper reality – a God who lives, breaths, and exists with us.

Being a Christian does not mean burning the Koran

Friday, August 27th, 2010

It is always empowering to read an article about those who truly practice Christianity.  It is sad to read articles about those who in misguided ways do damage to the essential message of Christ.  Rev. Terry Jones, a pastor who is gaining some notoriety for his commitment to burn the Koran on 9/11, is an example of someone whose words damage that essential message of unconditional love.

One can view scripture in many ways.  One can create a loving, merciful compassionate God.  One can create an angry, vengeful God as well.  I recall listening to the authors of the “Left Behind” series as they discussed their view of a “slaughtering Jesus.”  Still a head-scratcher for me.

I believe deeply that is why Jesus living on this earth is so critical,  why the concept of the Divine Human is central to Christian New Church theology.  One simply cannot find the cruel Jesus in the New Testament.  This is Man who never carried a sword.  This is a Man who never set aside a foreign faith system as being “of the devil.”  This is a Man who quietly talked the crowd into putting down stones ready to be cast at a sinner, not a demagogue inciting the crowd to pick up stones in vengeful hate.

One can takes words out of context to cobble together an angry Jesus.  What one cannot do is look at the context of His entire life – words and actions – and come up with anything but a deeply loving merciful God.  This is not a God who burns Korans.  There are rooms for grey at times.  In other areas of our life there are not.  This is one of the later. Being a Christian does not mean burning the Koran.