Have you ever had destabilizing experience of showing up to a social event while still in the middle of a disagreement with your significant other — without enough time to come back to a place of harmony, you shuffle through the crowd of smiling faces doing your best to act “normal,” while on the inside all you want to do is get things square with the person you care most about? And so you smile and try to make small talk, but you are keenly aware that you are probably acting pretty weird, because though you are physically engaged with the person in front of you, your most essential self is somewhere else, playing the argument back through your head, hoping to make things right.
When I’ve lost a sense of integration, of togetherness, with the person in this world who I am closest to, it causes me to experience dis-integration in my other relationships as well.
This is a picture of the great human problem of feeling separated from God. And this is, obviously, not what God wants for us.
In fact, the good news of the Gospel is that whatever barrier there ever was that could separate us from experiencing integration, union with God, has been removed from God’s side.
That’s the message, that’s the invitation of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.
Any barriers that we feel remaining are an illusion. So our experiences of feeling dis-integration with God happens only as we submit ourselves, on levels conscious or subconscious, to the illusion of separation.
1 Corinthians 6:18 reads
…whoever unites themselves with the Lord is one with God in spirit.
As we choose to surrender to the reality of God-with-us, that we are in Christ and Christ is in God, the ILLUSION of SEPARATION begins to fade.
And as connection with God’s Spirit begins to be our defining reality, we find we our more integrated with ourselves, with others, with all of creation.
The word the Hebrews use to describe this way of life is shalom, which means wholeness, a fully-integrated experience of reality… and this is a concept big enough to include everyone. In fact, for it to be shalom, it must involve every one and every thing.
This Sunday we will continue our series Missio Dei with an exploration of Jesus’ central message: The Kingdom of God is at hand. An experience of union with God is possible. And as that central relationship is restored, we find harmony in our other relationships.