LENTEN REFLECTION: (Jan Phillips)

I want to share this Lenten Reflection, written by Jan Phillips. I helps to bring a new vision – a new way of looking at lent; a new way of looking at life:

“Recent findings in cosmology suggest a “new story” for theology and spirituality. Instead of thinking of the decomposition of Jesus’ body we could view it as a transformation in the here and now rather than a departure from earth. Jesus was all about inviting us to transform our lives. Instead of separation from the death we might reconsider our connection to the “community of saints.” In the intimacy of the Transfiguration the witnesses wanted to remain in the community of joy and hope that they felt. Instead of a God in heaven and us on earth, which is a hierarchal approach, we might accent the immanence of God, (a oneness with God in the here and now). This God urges us f forward in a co-creational process.

This insight requires a shift in our consciousness. In rediscovering our major connectedness to the earth and the cosmos we reclaim our spirituality in a new way. “Creation” becomes the first sacrament as we recognize ourselves as co-creators with God. God is now acknowledge and recognized as the dynamic inner presence and creator of all things including our own enfleshed “soul” and consciousness. In other words if God is everywhere, heaven cannot be apart from God. We are humans, born from the earth and we return to the earth at our death and resurrection as Jesus did. We are part of that dynamic creation process.

If we recognize God as on-going Creator of earth, then the earth is an expression of God’s eternal presence. Thus we rest in the continual presence of God and continue God’s act of co-creation. WE ARE HUMANS INCARNATING GODD as we mentioned in our Advent liturgies. Thus our death is our return to God physically and spiritually. We can think of Jesus returning to the earth and the cosmos through death, rather than ascending to a heaven which is remote from earth. This reconnects us to the earth into which Jesus’ body has gone and helps us reconnect positively to the earth as a blessed and sacred place.

Consequences of this insight could be enormous. First of allow, we might begin to see our connectedness to all living creatures not as superior but as servants, caring for Mother Earth. Secondly, we would then respect the animate as well as the inanimate in our world. We would also recognize and respect our interconnectedness and dependence to all living beings and things. We would acknowledge our dependence on everything that is. Thirdly, the world and the cosmos will become our larger self. Jesus’ death and resurrection will have saved us by bringing us home to the planet of which we have always been a part. As Josh Groban says in one of his songs, “We’re only a breath away to where you are.” Our loving God at every moment in life and in death is only a breath away from where we are.”

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