Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Doorway Into God Is Always The Same As The Doorway Into Our Own Humanity

Bishop John Shelby Spong

 "Jesus was the life in whom a new consciousness appeared. His consciousness called, beckoned and empowered us to be something we could not then even dream of being. Jesus was a human being who was so whole, so free and so loving that he transcended all human limits, and that transcendence helped us to understand and even to declare that we had met God in him. That is what the story of the resurrection was all about. Every human limit, including the limit of death, faded in front of Jesus. So he opens a door for me to walk into the final arena and to walk past the ultimate boundary. I can see in him what I can be - a life at one with God, at one with myself and a part of eternity. That is my stunning conclusion. The Christ-path becomes for me a path that is always opening to something more. It is a human path that all people in all times and in all places can walk, regardless of the name by which they call it. The Christ is no longer a religious symbol and the Christ-path is no longer a religious path. Christ is the fully human one and the Christ-path is above all else a human path, the sign that the doorway into God is always the same as the doorway into our own humanity. The oneness of God held so deeply by the people of the East thus merges with the individualism so deeply valued by the people of the West. Individuation within the oneness of God enables us to transcend all the human boundaries of tribe, race, gender, sexual orientation and even religion. No separation is eternal and no difference can finally be permanent. For God is ultimately one, and that means that each of us is part of that oneness. 'My me is indeed God.' The mystics are right. They are people of a deeper consciousness. There is one consciousness, but self-conscious people alone can know it. I am finite, but I share in infinity. I am mortal, but I share in immortality. I am a being, but I share in being itself.
So I now have reached the point in my journey where I, like St. Francis before me, can welcome death as my brother. I live in the appreciation that it is the presence of death that actually makes my life precious, since it calls me to live each day fully, and it is by living fully that I enter the timelessness of life.
~ John Shelby Spong, 78, Eternal Life: A New Vision