Christianity’s animating idea is transcendence. God makes God’s self known in the person of Jesus, and that revelation enables us to look beyond, and live into, a deeper reality. It’s more than what Jesus said and did. It’s embodying what he meant and permitting the gospel of unconditional love and grace to shape our being and behaviors. The Christian concept of transcendence is one of inward transformation that turns our attention outward to others and the world.
Many would like to bisect this idea into one or the other—contemplative (or meditative) practice and active (or missional) practice. To place one over and above the other, however, results in an incomplete experience. In Colossians 3:16-17, we find this delicate balance described beautifully: “The word of Christ must live in you richly. Teach and warn each other with all wisdom by singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing to God with gratitude in your hearts. Whatever you do, whether in speech or action, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus and give thanks to God the Father through him.” Start with contemplation. End in action.
We see many parallels in the practices of our Buddhist friends. Their deep personal work of contemplation ultimately points toward the strengthening of community. And both Christian and Buddhist thought seek transcendence through a paradoxical idea: looking inward compels outward action to ease the suffering of others.
We’ll explore these ideas in more detail this Thursday at 7:30 CDT, as we continue our comparative studies of two traditions that are very different and yet speak very clearly to one another. Join our conversation on Zoom:
Meeting ID: 835 6708 5701
Or dial in at 312-626-6799, using same Meeting ID
Peace and blessings,
PS: And make sure to join us this Sunday for our monthly YouTube worship, “Meeting the Moment.” Invite friends—especially those who don’t like church too much. You and they will be blessed. You can find the service here:
We need your help!
As we think about the future of Gather, please let us know what gifts you bring and would like to share with the community. There are many roles that have to come together to make Gather happen every week. This includes setup, technical support, worship, managing handouts and information, coordinating drinks, and teardown. We need your help. Please let us know what type of service you’d be interested in!
Watch God Work,
Tim & Shea
As we prepare to become a vibrant worshipping community, we invite you to enjoy a Spotify playlist that captures the kind of worship we hope to embrace. Give it a spin while you’re driving. Make it your workout jam. Add it to your devotional time. Most of all, feel yourself becoming part of a sacred village of believers who love their God and one another!
Check out the Gather Worship Playlist here.