Monday, 9 April 2018

The World Has Been Healed

Continuing with the theme of the last couple of posts, it would be a mistake to conclude that the world had been damaged irreparably or that the damage could deflect God's ultimate purpose or even, from the standpoint of true things, that it altered anything at all substantially, despite how it may seem from our very limited perspective caught up in its effects.

But perhaps it might have done were it not for one thing, the most important thing ever to have happened in this world and that, of course, was the birth of Christ. Christ's birth, life, death and resurrection healed the world of the damage done by the Fall and defeated Satan. Satan still has power but only what we allow him if we reject the life of the spirit. Henceforth anyone can banish him and his works simply by turning to Christ and inviting him into their heart. It really is as simple as that. But it must be the true Christ we invite and not some manufactured image that imitates him. For sometimes we project our idea of Christ, a Christ who fits in with our prejudices and preconceptions, onto the real Christ and then take the imitated projection for the reality. We can have a 'gentle Jesus, meek and mild' or a Jesus who teaches love but not truth (or vice versa) or a Jesus who turns a blind eye to sin in the name of acceptance of everyone or a Jesus who offers forgiveness regardless of repentance or a Jesus preaching justice without mercy (or vice versa) and many other sorts of fake Jesus based on our own ignorance and desires. None of these will help us. They are in fact idols.

We can only know the real Christ if we reject the world and follow his commandments, the chief of which is to love God (and therefore truth) above all else. If there is anything that comes before this then we are not following Jesus but ourselves in some way.  To avail ourselves of the healing offered by Christ we have to take the medicine and that does not always taste pleasant to the earthly self. It's rather like the rich young man who thought he had done everything required but when it finally came to the point he could not cross the threshold between acceptance and denial.

I am not saying no one can lead a proper spiritual life if they are not Christian but I think that paths without Christ are incomplete. C. S Lewis' insight in The Last Battle regarding Emeth the Calormene who followed Aslan in his heart without knowing him outwardly strikes me as pertinent here. If we follow the light of Christ as it shines within our own heart, we are closer to him than if we follow him outwardly alone. No doubt in this case there will remain work to be done after departing this world but then that is true for all of us except the greatest saints. And no doubt too it is easier to follow Christ in our hearts when we follow him outwardly too, but I think we have to accept that God has provided different paths at different times and some of them may actually include important elements of truth neglected in Christianity.

But I am going off the point. The point is that despite the damage inflicted on the world by the fallen angels in the past and at the present time, God remains in charge. 'Not a sparrow is forgotten, and the hairs on your head are numbered'. That is hard to believe sometimes but only because we can't see the whole picture. If we could then the hardships we endure now would not seem so hard. The world has been healed by the entry into it of Jesus and from now on, however dark it may seem, we should know that the light shines eternally beyond the clouds.


John Fitzgerald said...

It would be great to hear this as a sermon in church, but comservative clergy tend to be very institutional in their approach while liberals are too beholden to secularism. Your post takes a broad, imaginative approach, while remaining 100% Christ-centred. It makes sense both intuitively and intellectually.

William Wildblood said...

I think you've hit on an important point there, John. One has to take an imaginative approach to Christ rather than a literalistic earthbound one. Not to say the story isn't literally true but it's so much more than that and the literal aspect is not enough.

Unknown said...

The last paragraph where you mentioned that god remains in charge and the story of the sparrow, recall to my mind the cosmic play where the humans words and actions interact with the god names to accomplish what is intended and the Koran iterate the story of the sparrow in other context, saying that and he knows every leaves that fall from its branches and no seed in the darkness of the earth or dry or humid,but in a well preserved recording system. It is undoubtedly that Jesus is a landmark in the real world of spiritual manifestations that is very close from the source and he is an excellent spiritual guide to all humanity irrespective and Ibn Arabi said that he was guided to god through Christ. As you said, its holding the truthful image that pure hearts can not refuse to accommodate. It is one god with many ways to him,and despite of the many prophetic paths, god wants each human to seek his unique path to him benefiting from other spiritual experiences without stagnation or refusal to other paths. We are living in a time where we were required to find our path to him, not like the previous prophets who were god choice. Our world will never be cleaned from the interaction of the opposites sickness and recovery, damage and healing, fall and standing up. It is the testing layout of ourselves and our cosmos to help us develop our true personal, spiritual path to him. The one whose hands are open to receive the true returnee. It is our hearts that have found to use the heads to fly to him and refuse to stagnate in the swamps of this intermix changing earth. Thank you William for keeping us vigil and alert in continually exploring our way to Him.

William Wildblood said...

I believe you are right in saying we are living at a time when we are required to find our own path to God. Only thus can we make God our own and not something known at second hand.