Unity requires a circle of relationship, not a chain of command


Circles of relationship trump chains of command.

I continue to struggle with a view of God that isn't bound by omnipotent authoritarian command. As I repeatedly sin by trying to be the "I AM" in my life, I do so relish the ability to control and know. Despite my love for others, I do want to be in command, and control. Despite the awful burden of leadership, and accountability for others' well being, I continue to seek out influence and power. This desire for power is at the core of me because I allow it to consume me rather than embracing full submission and God's desire for relationship with me.

As I embrace a deeper, and amazing view of relationship and unity, coupled with service and humility I am able to bring into focus a method for loving and being part of a community without giving up my individuality. I am unique and special, and indeed beloved of God. I choose to submit my uniqueness in order to survive in community.

The choice of self sacrifice to redeem the faults of others is overwhelming to me even now. My God doesn't dictate, he simply exists in love. He doesn't expect of me, he instead exists in a state of expectancy rooted in love. My salvation comes from his love, not compliance with rules.

Jesus sacrificed himself for me rather than condemning me.

As I read "The Shack" I was deeply moved and intrigued by the man-made trinity of Politics/Economics/Religion and the very idea that it empowers the illusion of control over a world of chaos. This trinity can so easily usurp the rightful place of THE TRINITY in our daily lives. When we choose relationships to our leaders, our jobs, our money, our possessions, and even to our church rather than to GOD, we attempt to gain control of a power and responsibility that simply is not ours to fully wield.

I am committed to continue to seek unity and community with my brothers, through my renewed relationship with my heavenly Father. Every day is indeed an opportunity to demonstrate love and compassion for those around me. To simply love and in the end to sacrifice "my I AM" for others. Lord, help me.

Acknowledgements for this post include but are not limited to:
God/Jesus/Holy Spirit
Gran Torino
The Shack
Life Together
Friends who talked and contributed at the Penultimate Friday Forum 080709



If I can unite in myself the thought and the devotion of Eastern and Western Christendom, the Greek and the Latin Fathers, the Russians with the Spanish mystics, I can prepare in myself the reunion of divided Christians. From that secret and unspoken unity in myself can eventually come a visible and manifest unity of all Christians. If we want to bring together what is divided, we cannot do so by imposing one division upon the other or absorbing one division into the other. But if we do this, the union is not Christian. It is political, and doomed to further conflict. We must contain all divided worlds in ourselves and transcend them in Christ.

Thomas Merton, Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander (New York: Image Books, 1966) 21.

Comments

Charles Hulin said…
Non-hierarchical, service-based, valuing diversity - sounds familiar!

An image my dad pointed out that shows how to be a strong non-dictatorial, supportive and loving member of a diverse community (like a church) is one of Paul's terms in a salutation from one of his letters: greet so-and-so as he is a pillar in the church.

Also, a book Ricky Barnes loaned me on Lamb Power is really good along these lines. The image of Christ in Revelation as a slain lamb renders all the earthly methods and images of power irrelevant at the end of the scriptures.

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