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Posts Tagged ‘Christ consciousness’

God the Son, Part 2

In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, to a virgin engaged to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.” Luke 1:26-28

A virgin is one who is pure. Mary, the mother of Jesus, modeled untainted, non-desecrated earth – a willing and surrendered canvas upon which God could create. One can picture her in a way similar to the “formless void” of the earth described in Genesis 1:2. Just as the spirit of God overshadowed the amorphous earth to give birth to creation, so the spirit overshadowed Mary, and she gave birth to Jesus, Son of God. The tangible birth of Jesus substantiates the ethereal creation account in Genesis. It helps to make creation and God’s work in our world personal and relatable.

We often confuse the Son of God and the Christ. Christ is a designation for one who has attained an exceptional awareness of their relation to God, as in Jesus the Christ. It means anointed, or to make sacred, or to dedicate to the service of God. In Eastern philosophy, Christ Consciousness is attained when one perfectly unites their essential physical and spiritual natures. Recognizing we, too, are children of God – products of spirit and earth – it is getting in touch with the spirit within that saves us. Such knowledge rescues us from the fear that we can ever be separated from God. Here is how we become lost: We grow enamored with our material existence early in life and lose sight of our spiritual, eternal nature. When our lives are out of balance on the physical side, as most lives are, we identify with earthly, non-permanent stuff. Do not get me wrong, there is true beauty and pleasure in the things of the earth. They are impermanent, however, and so cannot provide the security we seek. Referring to our physical natures, Genesis 3:19 says, “…for out of (the ground) you were taken; you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The spiritual side of us, however, never dies. That part of us comes from God and takes on an earthly body for a time. When our body gives out, our spiritual essence lives on.

As long as our spirits are embodied, physically, we are living in the Son of God – God’s creation. Our access to and relationship with God is through the Son. Unfortunately, we continue stubbornly to focus on our temporal, physical natures. We think we are our jobs or homes, but jobs and homes are lost every day. We think we are our possessions, which wear out, break, or are stolen. We think we are our thoughts, which distractedly flitter and flutter in every direction. We think we are our bodies, which wither and die. Is it any wonder we become such insecure, frightened beings?

The Christ is creation when its spiritual essence has opened into conscious awareness. Jesus of Nazareth displayed that realization, whether by birth or by growing into it, becoming the perfect combination of earth and spirit we are to aspire to. Because we live in the Son of God, we are known and loved completely, just as we are. When Jesus looked upon the suffering people in his midst, he encouraged them not to identify with their pain or their problems. Rather, he encouraged them to look at themselves through him, to have faith, to believe in his reality, knowing his was their reality, too. It is as if he were saying, “I know you, and you are so much more than your suffering. Your pain will end, but your life in me will never end.” It is in the Son of God that we live and move and have our being. God in us, Emmanuel, is our true identity and our eternal nature, and that cannot be taken from us. As we increase our ability to manifest our divine nature, we become instruments for God to work through on earth.

In some ways, our task is to become like Mary, ready and willing to surrender completely to the urgings of the Spirit. And one day, by the unfathomable grace of God, the Spirit may overshadow us and manifest the Son of God, the child of the Most High, the Christ within us – Emmanuel.

Note: this is the 33rd in a series of Life Notes on the Faces of God. 

 

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Life Notes

How Did I Miss That?

Part 10: We are to Become Christ-Like

Very truly I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. John 14:12

Author, teacher, and speaker Fr. Richard Rohr likes to remind us that Christ is not Jesus’ last name. Christ is a designation for one in whom spirit and body are perfectly integrated and manifested. Christ consciousness is a state of being that has existed as part of the Godhead since the beginning of creation. Jesus was 100% human and 100% God – a perfect expression of body and spirit, and he invited us to become the same. His oft-repeated mandate, “Follow me,” did not mean to go where he went, but to become who he became – to do what he did, to love as he loved, and to heal as he healed. How did I miss that?

I find ample evidence to justify that Jesus encouraged us to fully develop our spiritual natures, even as we develop our human nature. For example, beginning with John 17:20, “I ask not only on behalf of these (his disciples), but also on behalf of those who will believe in me through their word, that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us…” Those who have come to believe in Jesus through the words of his disciples, i.e., the Gospels, are invited to become one with God, Jesus, and with each other. That proclamation of oneness with God is what got Jesus crucified.

Whether by teaching or by imagination, I grew up assuming Jesus the Christ was a larger-than-life figure that I could never aspire to imitating. I, after all, am a lowly and unworthy sinner. It is evident to me now that Jesus believed differently. He not only loves us, but he envisions a divine destiny for and with every one of us. He clearly directed his disciples to continue his work, and we are the current day descendants of those disciples.

To imagine becoming one with Christ while still on earth is difficult to grasp. And yet, with God all things are possible. Clearly, we underestimate our capability and our possibilities. Science has shown that we only develop a fraction of our intellectual capacity. What portion of our spiritual capacity is ever realized? Likely, it is minuscule. What if we were to truly surrender what have become the driving forces in our lives – prestige, possessions, and power – and unwaveringly centered our lives on service to others, as Jesus did? What if we became such pure and empty vessels that Christ could work through us without resistance? Dare we believe we could heal illness with a word or a touch? Dare we believe we could lift the weight of sin from another’s shoulders? Dare we believe the limitless possibilities? I think Jesus urged us so to dare.

We are to become like Christ. How did I miss that?

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