Skip to main content

whole


For the past few weeks, I have been thinking about and exploring the concept of wholeness. Recently I have become aware just how splintered our lives are: job and family and sacred and secular and rational and emotional and conscious and subconscious and love and passion and obligation and responsibility and pain and pleasure and rest and relaxation. We categorise and compartmentalise and label and organise our entire lives, it seems, in order to fit it all in and make it work, but how many of us feel whole?
When I look back at the basic concepts presented at the beginning of time as we know it, the goal was to be whole, to be one, to be in unity- with God first and then with each other. The first splintering took place when the we as humans decided that wholeness was inferior to personal advancement, and we started descending the slippery slope of comparison and competition instead of ascending towards the lofty goals of unison and harmony. Understandable, because unity requires sacrifice and laying down of your life for others.
Pursing wholeness is not for the faint of heart. It will sometimes feel like death. It will require everything you have inside of you. You must be 100% present in whatever you are doing at this moment in your life, in whatever situation you are in, with whatever people you have chosen to surround yourself with. It will cause you the greatest agony as you choose where to commit yourself and the greatest joy when you give yourself wholly.
I don't quite know how to do this life of wholeness, but today, right now, I am here writing about something important that is worth my time and effort. 100% of it.
This is an orange on my kitchen table.

Comments

shane magee said…
one of the biggest mistakes of the enlightenment was to splinter us into mind and body. sure, the gnostics had done a pretty good job prior to that, but decartes really nailed that coffin shut. since then we have had the idea that jesus came to "save souls"; that the spiritual can somehow be divorced from the material; that concern for people's physical welfare is the 'social gospel' which is somehow different from - and less than - the 'real' gospel.

and we further fracture people into emotional, spiritual, physical, psychological and so on. even the idea that soe things we do are spiritual and some are secular is total nonsense according to the new testament. we are spiritual beings - the whole of us - therefore, if christ has renewed us, he has renewed ALL of us. there is no divide, no stopping point, no barrier beyond which he does not travel. so whether we go to church or to the washroom we go there as spiritual beings, so there is a sense in which both are totally spiritual experiences. i'm being kind of facetious but you get the point.

and when we meet other people, we treat them as WHOLE individuals. and in caring for their needs - whatever way they present themselves - in some way we are carrying out the gospel and bringing them jesus christ.
shane magee said…
oops. think i just wrote a book chapter instead of a comment!

Popular posts from this blog

the songs we sing

NOTE: I am going to make some pretty strong statements below, but understand that it is my way of taking an honest, hard look at my own worship experience and practice. My desire is not to be overly critical, but to open up dialogue by questioning things I have assumed were totally fine and appropriate. In other words, I am preaching to myself. Feel free to listen in.

---------------------

When I am in a church meeting during the singing time, I sometimes find myself silent, unable to get the words past my lips. At times I just need a moment of stillness, time to listen, but other times, the words make me pause because I don't know that I can sing them honestly or with integrity. This is a good thing. We should never mindlessly or heartlessly sing songs just because everyone else is. We should care deeply about what we say in our sung, communal worship.

At their best, songs sung by the gathered body of Christ call to life what is already in us: the hope, the truth, the longing, t…

theology from the margins: God of Hagar

Our contexts have major implications for how we live our lives and engage with our world, that much is obvious. However, we sometimes overlook how much they inform our concepts of God. For those of us occupying the central or dominant demographic in society, we often associate God with power and truth. As a result, our theology is characterized by confidence, certainty, and an expectation that others should be accommodating. For those of us living on the margins of society, our sense of belonging stranded in ambiguity, God is seen as an advocate for the powerless. Our theology leans more toward inclusivity, and we talk less about divine holiness and righteousness and more about a God who suffers. On the margins, the priority is merciful and just action, not correct beliefs. 
There are significant theological incongruences between Christians who occupy the mainstream segment of society and those who exist on the margins. The world of theology has been dominated by Western male thought…

the movement of humility

We live in a context of stratification where much of society is ordered into separate layers or castes. We are identified as upper class, middle class, or lower class. Our language reflects this up/down (superior/inferior) paradigm. We want to be at the top of the heap, climb the ladder of success, break through the glass ceiling, be king of the hill. This same kind of thinking seeps into our theology. When we talk about humility, we think mostly think in terms of lowering ourselves, willfully participating in downward mobility. This type of up/down language is certainly present in biblical texts (James 4:10 is one example), but I believe that the kind of humility we see in Jesus requires that we step outside of a strictly up/down paradigm. Instead of viewing humility as getting down low or stepping down a notch on the ladder of society, perhaps it is more helpful to think in terms of proximity and movement.

Jesuit theologian, James Keenan, notes that virtues and vices are not really…