Jesus has included the human race in his relationship with his Father, and in his relationship with the Holy Spirit, and in his relationship with every human being, and in his relationship with the whole cosmos. As Vanessa Kersting says in one of her songs, “You are the center of it all.” Jesus is the alpha and the omega, the one in and through and by and for whom all things were created, and are sustained, and are reconciled. I believe this is the early Church’s vision of Jesus Christ. I take it as our non-negotiable, our fundamental hermeneutic from which we are to rethink everything we thought we knew, from our vision to God to social justice, from our notions of God’s eternal purpose to our economics, from our concerns for human dignity to our freedom to play. The kingdom of the Triune God is, in my view, the life of Jesus himself (in its four-fold relation) coming to personal, relational, social, international, global, environmental, economic, political, spiritual, musical, playful and cosmic expression in us, in our world, and throughout the cosmos.
Viewing human history and our times in the light of Christ tells us that there is more happening on this planet and in our lives than we ever dared to dream. Jesus (and his four-fold life) is present, not absent. And Jesus is present everywhere. Moreover, the Holy Spirit is at work in every arena seeking to facilitate the emergence of Jesus’ life. If we have eyes to see we can see Jesus’ life emerging everywhere. But we can also see that something is terribly wrong.
In a nutshell, a dastardly and profound confusion has set up shop inside our minds. Biblically speaking, the human race is in the dark—blind as bats—and each of us brings the darkness, and our own particular blindness to the table of Jesus Christ. So much of life on our planet, from our marriages to our global politics, from our day to day work to our attempts to find glory, seems to be the incessant attempt to impose our wills, our blindness, our notions upon Jesus himself, upon others and his world. To me sin is the attempt to wrest Jesus into believing in us and in our notions. It is unbelief in Jesus and belief in ourselves. Sin is the belief that Jesus is dead wrong about God, about humanity and history, about how to live, and about the cosmos, and the insistence that he turn from his beliefs, repent and believe in us.
Jesus is present, not absent. He is sharing with us all his own four-fold life. The Holy Spirit is working to give us eyes to see and ears to hear, so that the kingdom of the Triune God continues to emerge. And humanity, as a race, as individuals, as governments and religions—while breathing Christological air and living in Christ’s life—is dead set on imposing its bizarre notions upon Jesus and his world.
History is the time and space given to us to dream our dreams, to think up our theories, to invent our own worlds, and to attempt to wrest Jesus and the cosmos into our vision. All the while, Jesus is sharing himself and his life with us, and we are haunted and inspired, thrilled and made malcontent by his presence in our darkness.
We know we are made for glory, but we still believe in ourselves and our endarkened dreams. We are, as Chaucer said, like the drunk man, who knows his has a house, but cannot find his way home.
Meanwhile there is more than a little of Jesus’ life everywhere you look and listen. Come, Spirit of truth.