Many, and yet one… blurring stories and theology
My 93-year-old mom lives with me and on good days her mental filing cabinet is perfectly in order, in fact she could talk and work circles around most. But on other days her story becomes fused with that of her mother and grandmother, and she can’t tell where one story begins and the other ends. As Christians, we are in Christ and Christ in us; we are part of his story. But we don’t cease to exist or lose consciousness of our identity in a trancelike oneness as some songs might suggest. We experience oneness because of identity, not the absence of it. The difference between Christianity and Hinduism or Buddhism is that those who practice them want to cease to exist entirely and become part of the great “Om”… whereas we as Christians want to die to the effects of the world system (or the “domination system” as some theologians call it that has distorted God’s imprint on our character and behavior), emerging more fully alive, reflecting God’s unique creation in us. The body of Christ isn’t one big bowl of oatmeal; it’s a medley of color and taste. The Trinity is fully and perfectly One—yet three distinct persons. How glorious are the myriad shades of beauty in God’s Church. This is the paradoxical nature of Christianity: We are a unity: “We being many are one body”; and yet we are individuals who have both a corporate/communal and personal relationship with God and the members of his Church. As his ambassadors we also live out and present a loving corporate and individual witness to those around us. “He is the true light who lights each one who comes into the earth.” Sing it!