Most of us have never really met ourselves…We’ve met who we pretend to be, and who others have said who we are, or even who we’ve aspired to be, but not ourselves! I think of those times when we may have messed up and people have judged us… “No” we may have thought, “You don’t know me, I sense I’m better than that…”
What a relief to know that as followers of Christ, instead of having to pretend, the most we can do is simply allow ourselves to fall upwards into who we ACTUALLY are! That’s how Franciscan priest and teacher Fr Richard Rohr puts it – picking up on the teachings of Thomas Merton and others – speaking about our ‘true’ selves vs our ‘ego’ or ‘small’ selves…
Jesus’ parables of the ‘Pearl of Great Price’ and ‘the Treasure hidden in a Field’ have to do with the discovery of the Gospel as something already within us: our truest, God-created and Christ-restored identities. Our ‘soul’ selves – that part of us which scripture describes as being originally made in God’s image. It’s that part of us which is perfectly clean, whole, eternal.
But we struggle to know that part…We may sense it. I love what Parker Palmer has to say about that – describing our soul with the characteristics of a wild animal…
Perhaps our greatest job as the Church must be about discovering just that for ourselves! And for all creation! Because, unless all of what we do – our gathering in worship, Bible Study, caring for the disadvantaged, reaching out – has that as our goal I’m not sure of how relevant any of it is.
Our job is to allow God’s Spirit to restore us, and then to help others to ‘get it’ as well – to see how beautiful God, in Christ, has already made them and all creation to be! Because it’s only as we embrace the indicative of who we already are that we are motivated to move into the imperative of what we must do. It’s NEVER the other way.
That discovered precious pearl that uncovered once-hidden treasure is us, but it’s us with a whole new and renewed appreciation of ourselves, of one another, and of all creation. That’s what I believe Jesus was primarily opening the blind’s eyes to see, and what He was mostly effecting in all His healings… That is still what Christ does and still what Christ longs to have us experience and participate in, with him…
And so that’s it! All of it! That’s the plan for myself, for us together, for all of what I feel called to lead in this beautiful community. Let’s work out together WHAT exactly that means and what we are going to be doing to make it happen!
Dear God, that is our prayer: for us to return to an ever increasingly heart-soul awareness of our deepest and truest selves, our made in Your own lovely image selves. Give us opened enough eyes to see your economy in everything – your kingdom having come on earth already as it is in heaven. May it be so…
…in Jesus’ Name
(Genesis 1: 26-28a; Matthew 13: 45, 46)
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