I was thinking about this again yesterday in a meditation class. Christianity doesn’t do a very good job of connecting body and Spirit. We focus a lot on mind and Spirit. We do a pretty good job of that—reasoning and growing our way into this life as children of God.
I often read things that I wish I had written. Things that I can relate to in my bones. A lot of the time, this happens when I read Richard Rohr. He rings that bell all the time for me.
That bell rang on couple of fronts just this week. I read him every day. RR is a Franciscan friar (something I learned about, too) and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque.
Since Jesus himself was humble and poor, then the pure and simple imitation of Jesus became Francis’ life agenda. He was a fundamentalist, not about doctrinal Scriptures, but about lifestyle Scriptures: take nothing for your journey; eat what is set before you; work for your wages; wear no shoes. This is still revolutionary thinking for most Christians, although it is the very “marrow of the Gospel,” to use Francis’ own phrase—He knew intuitively what many educators have now proven—that humans tend to live themselves into new ways of thinking more than think themselves into new ways of living. The lecture method changes very few people at any deep or long-lasting level. It normally does not touch the unconscious, where all our hurts and motives lie hidden and disguised.
Today on atonement:
Jesus did not come to change the mind of God about humanity. It did not need changing. Jesus came to change the mind of humanity about God! God is not someone to be afraid of but is the Ground of Being and on our side.
The Franciscan minority position, our alternative orthodoxy, is basically saying that no atonement is necessary. Some call it “at-one-ment” instead of atonement. There is no bill to be paid; there is simply a union to be named. Jesus didn’t come to solve a problem; he came to reveal the true nature of God as Love.
Whew! This is the kind of stuff that makes your brain hurt and it speaks into Lent. Lent is an entire season of Christian atonement. Adopting spiritual disciplines in Lent, I think we often come at it trying to think ourselves into new ways of living.
What if we just followed Jesus? Purely and simply living into the lifestyle scriptures. Stop focusing on right belief and focus on right practice. Living into it.
Doing. Being. Connecting mind, body, and Spirit!
I can’t help but think if we just tried to live into new ways of thinking, we will see Jesus changing our minds about God!
I’m just gonna leave that right there, because it’s enough to make your brain hurt.
Grace and Peace,