Living In the Shadow of the Impossible Possibility

Musings /Part 1/ on the Practices of a Resurrection (Expansive) Spirituality

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The term “Jesus Christ” rolls off our tongues so glibly that Christ seems to be Jesus’ last name. Catherine Keller teaches her students to put a ru’ach pause between Jesus and Christ so as to distinguish between the proper name (Jesus) and the title (Christ) which the church attributes to him. Carl Jung would describe Christ (or Messiah) as an archetype – that is, a universally patterned image arising out of the “collective unconscious.”

Christ” is not a Proper Name. Christ is the descriptor which refers to the potentiality for inner wholeness and peace. In a very real sense, the Christ is an external catalyst which energizes the messianic impulse within. The messianic impulse within and the Christ catalyst without together describe the process of salvation – not an other-worldly reward, but a this-worldly process in the here and now. Paul described this process as “work[ing] out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” (Philippians 2:12)

A Resurrection Spirituality engages this salvation process, not as a chore or obligation or discipline but as a celebration of the wholeness that I can become, that you can become, that the world can become. It is living into the impossible possibility. In the face of all the brokenness, fragmentation, and degradation that is experienced in daily life we choose to live in celebration, with a spirit of fulness and abundance. We choose to be fools for Christ (1 Corinthians 4:10), living as if the Commonwealth of God’s Peace and Justice is only around the next corner, already energizing the world in which we live. So we live openly expectant, gracefully engaged, “perpetually awaiting a re-birth of wonder” (from Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s poem “I am Waiting”).

This practice may be described as living in the shadow of the impossible possibility and is based on a fundamental trust in life itself. C. S. Lewis wrote, “This world is a great sculptor’s shop. We are the statues and there is a rumour going round the shop that some of us are some day going to come to life.” Mere Christianity (page 72)  To engage in a Resurrection (Expansive) Spirituality is to have already “come to life” – that is, you have incarnated the abundant life promised in John 10:10. You have drunk deeply from a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” (John 4:14, CEB)

Whoever drinks from the water that I will give will never be thirsty again. The water that I give will become in those who drink it a spring of water that bubbles up into eternal life.” (CEB)  John 4:14

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