|Pantokrator (Jesus Christ) Icon,
St. Catherine’s Monastery
Mt. Sinai, Egypt
In this Season of Lent, we hear a lot of talk about journeying and pilgrimage as we come closer to who it is we are called to be, as we come closer to a “oneness” with God. What exactly does that mean, though…a “oneness” with God? Now I have to tell you that when I hear someone refer to someone (or, even worse, themselves!) as “godly”, I really just sort of cringe. Really? You think you’re like God? I don’t think so. We are not called to live a “godly” life. I hate it when people talk like that. We are not called to be Divine. We are called to be Human in the fullest way that there is. I think that’s what Jesus was trying to show us. I doubt he would ever depict himself as “perfect”, as unblemished. He was Human. That was the whole point. Jesus came as God Incarnate not to show us how to be Divine but to show us how to be Human.
But, that said, Jesus was “fully Human”, even as this Christ was “fully Divine”. The life of Christ was the most human that any could be–SO human, in fact, that it was a life of open and intentional surrender to what is at the very core of each of our beings, to the very image of God, the Imago Dei, the imprint of God that exists in each of us. And that image, that imprint, is what makes us want to be with God, compels us to follow this Way of Christ. In the deepest part of each of our beings is the innate desire for relationship with God. That is what it means to be fully Human.
So perhaps this Season of Lent is one in which we hone our basic desire, the desire that is the core of everything, the core of our being. Maybe it is that desire that drives us on this journey of faith. Or maybe, just maybe, the desire for God itself IS the journey. Maybe a fully-tuned, fully-calibrated desire for God is how we are made perfect in Christ. I don’t think the point of this journey is to “find God”. I’m pretty clear that God is not lost, that God knows exactly where God is. The truth is, I think whether or not I’m aware, God is here, always, just loving me. God’s desire for relationship with me is so incredibly strong that it begins this journey of faith. But the journey unfolds as I realize my desire for God. Being “made perfect” in Christ does not mean becoming without blemish; it means becoming “fully human”; it means desiring the God in which we live and move and have our being. This faith journey is not about finding a lost God but rather desiring and seeking a lost humanity, an image of God, the very imprint of God in ourselves.
Grace and Peace,