Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Three Priorities: The First Priority Revisited


In explaining the first of those priorities, "encouraging fellow members of the Body of Christ," I described an underlying desire:

to live out my faith in unity with other believers who live within walking distance.

Since then, a couple of things have happened with that formulation. The first is that the underlying desire began to feel more like the priority. It echoed in my mind; I found myself reciting it. I think this is partly just because it had a nice cadence:

to live out my faith 
in unity with other believers 
who live within walking distance.

But it also felt more compelling, by virtue of being more specific. Suddenly I wasn't talking about all members of the Body of Christ everywhere, and therefore about no one in particular. Suddenly, I was talking about the particular members of the Body of Christ who live within a particular distance of my house.

That felt meatier to me than,"encouraging fellow members of the Body of Christ."

Then, even as that desire-description sank into my soul, it began to change its flavor. It didn't become rancid, but it did become less digestible. I wasn't fully absorbing it, it wasn't becoming part of my marrow. Somehow, something was off; it seemed too much like smoke and not enough like fire.

"To live out my faith..." Ah. What does that mean, and how does it make me different from anyone who seeks to live out their faith, whether that faith has anything to do with Jesus Christ or not? I needed something more distinctly Christian, something that someone who does not believe themselves to be in Christ would not say.

And John's Gospel came to mind, with Jesus' assertions about the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit living within those who believe in Him. And the desire-description was transformed into:

To express the life of the Godhead
In unity with others inhabited by the Godhead
who live within walking distance.

Whew - now that's a mouthful. And a brainful - the idea of being inhabited by the Godhead may be the pinnacle of megalomaniacal delusion. 

Unless it's true. In which case, I cannot think of a higher priority than expressing that life. 

So the statement of my First Priority has changed, from "encouraging fellow members of the Body of Christ" to "expressing the life of the Godhead in unity with others inhabited by the Godhead, who live within walking distance."

I look forward to doing that.
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