In the Gospel lesson for today, we receive hints toward deepening our understanding of the mystery of Christ.
In these few brief verses we are introduced to three terms and realities: Jesus, the Father and Christ. We can see that from the beginning there were intense questions about the nature of what and who was the Christ, especially in light of messianic Jewish expectations during the Roman empire’s occupation of Israel.
Verse thirty is the essential Christian understanding of what Jesus means when he is designated with the title “Christ.” Christ is the oneness, or what Julian of Norwich calls the oneing of Abba and Jesus.
Our English bibles mostly translate verse thirty this way: The Father and I are one. The Greek is a bit more forceful, though. It literally reads this way: I and the Father one are.
Jesus is bearing witness to the state of existence we are all invited to partake in. The ever deepening union of our life with God’s in Christ. Christ is the term that describes the state and condition Jesus lived in: union with God. This union is our deepest truth and most joyful home.
In lived experience, union is perhaps more easily seen by what it is not. We can more easily see the state of Christ from the reference point of when we feel and experience the state of separation – i.e., duality from our self, others and the divine nature. When we forget our deepest truth. When we forget the deepest truth of another. When we go to sleep to the state of awakeness in Christ. When we act out from this forgetfulness and separation we can do a great deal of damage to ourselves and to others.
Sometimes, we persist in this sense of separation for quite some time until we suffer enough and wake up from our useless reactivity, striving and negativity – and are “born from above” back to our deepest truth of union, and like the prodigal, return home to the source of our enduring good, relational communion and timeless joy. This return can occur in a millisecond of consent.
So, their wintertime question to Jesus on the temple portico in Jerusalem is really our question too: am I one with Abba in this moment, following the Way of Jesus? Is the state of Christ happening now or am I fragmented to myself and the divine in forgetfulness? What am I waiting for?
I see I can wake up. I can return. I can remember the state of Christ now and always, and be lifted up by such a subtle grace I am moved to tears of worship.
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