A Meditation for 17 April 2016, the 4th Sunday of Easter (Year C). The meditation is based on Acts 9: 36 – 43, Revelation 7 :9 – 17, and John 10: 22 – 30.
Two things to note – I am more and more convinced that modern Christianity has lost its focus, lost its way if you will. It seems, at least to me, that too many individuals today claim the mantle of Christianity without accepting the duties and responsibilities that come with the acceptance of the mantle of Christianity. In fact, and again this is my opinion, too many people claim to be Christians but whose thoughts about humanity expressed through their words, deeds, and actions are in complete opposition to what it was that Jesus said and did during His three year ministry.
And I also think that there are too many people who claim to be spiritual but not religious do not understand that it is through religion that one finds or clarifies their spirituality. I am aware, as a recent CBS story indicated that
Humans are spiritual beings before religious. Religion means to bind back (re-ligare). Religion is a method. Spirituality is inherent in our being. Religion teaches us how to access and guide our spirituality, by providing story and ritual that speaks to our whole person – mind and heart. It “binds us back” to our nature as spiritual beings in relationship with God and with each other. Religion and religious community are designed to help us integrate our mind – bodies – through spiritual awareness; our thinking, feeling and doing in balance and wellness. And this is the ideal goal of all authentic religions (http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/faith-spirituality-the-future/).
You many know that you are seeking some sort of spiritual level but without some sort of framework, you cannot reach any sort of spiritual level.
The church today is very much aware that there are those who seek Christ. As the Gospel reading for today points out, people have sought Christ from the very beginning of the Galilean ministry. And like those who sought Him then, many who seek Him today do not know who or what to look for. And when you don’t know what to look for, it is very hard to reach that spiritual level that something inside you, which for the lack of a better term we shall call your soul, is pushing you to find.
I will admit that I used to dread preaching or writing about the Revelation of John. There was a part of me that just couldn’t accept the idea that a world that began with hope and promise, a world in which God cared about what happened to His children, would end in death and destruction. But, as I read more about what John the Seer was writing and what was the basis for the apocalyptic vision that so many people utilize today, I could see that there was a difference in the visions offered.
But John the Seer wasn’t offering an end to the world but a new beginning. But if one is to see it as a beginning, the achievement of one’s spiritual quest, then one must know who Christ is, was, and will be.
And the only way that one can reach this ending, the only way we can help people find Christ in today’s world is to do what Peter and the other disciples did, show the work of Christ in the world. Granted this may be a little difficult to accomplish in a world where so many people work and live in a matter that says you can only find Christ if you walk on the same spiritual journey as they do.
Let us begin today to find the way. It requires that we first renew our commitment to Christ, to say that we will through our thoughts, words, deeds, and actions, live a life that shows Christ. It is a life that says that we have chosen a new way to walk and we invite others to walk with us. We understand that even though we all seek the same destination, each journey is unique and that we can only help others continue on their journey. And we help by showing them the way.
This is the greatest challenge because it forces us to open our minds, our hearts and our souls to see Christ in many ways. But when we see Christ, we can easily help others. And as we help others see Christ, we also see a new world, a new beginning.