Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"A Model of Wholeness"

"And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased." 
Matthew 3:17

This is what happened as Jesus came up out of the water after his baptism by John the Baptist.  It is a short, but incredibly powerful declaration.  It has been depicted in TV, film, and as artwork, but it's difficult to really capture what that voice must have sounded like.  Can you hear it?

As we finish our study on Discovering Our Spiritual Style, we look at Jesus' spirituality as a model of wholeness.  We will explore the ideas of integration (who we are together) and individuation (who we are individually) and take a brief look at how Jesus used these in his ministry.  We will also read several Bible passages that highlight Jesus' balance of Head, Incarnation, Heart, and Mystery or the four quadrants Earth, Water, Air, and Fire.  

Because we have radically slowed down the pace of this study (it's original intention is for a one- or two-day seminar) it's been easy to get 'caught up' in the individual quadrants and lose sight of the overall purpose of the study.  The nice part is that we have been able to explore different worship experiences, especially the Art & Meditation portions.  My hope is that we have all been able to get to know how our individual style fits us, strengthens us and serves a greater purpose in the whole.  And, to quote the study guide, "The goal is not to get anyone to radically change their spiritual style but to assist each other in expanding our spirituality range, to help us find more ways to experience God, and to have greater appreciation for that which is less familiar or comfortable to us." (pg. 23).

I see that, not only as the goal of this study (and book), but in becoming the person God created me to be.  He has given each of us strengths, talents, and abilities, but not so that we can live alone.  He designed us to fit together, to help each other, to provide the missing element for one another.  No person can be complete - perfect - except for Jesus.  He is our model; what we strive for but can never attain on our own.  We need to be connected to God and to each other to draw closer to experiencing spiritual wholeness.

I'd love to hear how you draw closer to experiencing wholeness in your worship.  Do you pray and worship intentionally from each quadrant?  Do you have people or groups in your life who help you to expand and engage in ways that are different than your most comfortable way?

If you will be attending in person on Friday, please bring your favorite Bible!

Your Partner in Ministry,

"Kind words are like honey - sweet to the soul and healthy for the body."  Proverbs 16:24