Transcendence and Fellowship 07-14-2017

When the fully Divine Christ is not at the center, then a charismatic leader, conservative sensibilities, liberal sensibilities, or some other less worthy candidate takes the center. Then our faith is no longer about devotion to our transcendent higher power. Then the agenda of the current leadership becomes central. Then the church has no generations old anchor and becomes vulnerable to the whims of congregation and culture.

As Christian author Eugene Petersen has reiterated, people need two things from worship: transcendence and fellowship (Divine connection and human connection). The Christian Right is all about transcendence, often tolerating community in order to praise God. The Christian Left often enjoys fellowship and tolerates God so they can be together. We need both!

We need vigorous faith that is ultimately not about rights, devotions, and know-how. It is not about knowing something! It is about knowing someone! That someone is Jesus, who mysteriously holds the fullness of the Creator and of the creature in his very being! That someone is transcendent God beyond the bounds of any limited human framework. That someone is also immanent human being, who shares our human limitations!

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The Way of the Wisdom Jesus: Going Beyond the Mind to the Heart of His Teaching – If you put aside what you think you know about Jesus and approach the Gospels as though for the first time, something remarkable happens: Jesus emerges as a teacher of the transformation of consciousness. In this online course, Episcopal priest, teacher, and retreat and conference leader Cynthia Bourgeault serves as a masterful guide to Jesus’s vision and to the traditional contemplative practices you can use to experience the heart of his teaching for yourself.  Based upon her book the Wisdom Jesus.

Our friends at Contemplative Light are offering  Contemplative Practices. This  course examines in-depth traditional practices of the Christian mystics, including:  The Examen, Centering Prayer, Lectio Divina, The Jesus Prayer and Christian Meditation.

Prayer is a core Christian practice, but for many, this means “saying prayers” or asking God for various favors. In this course, we will review a variety of methods of prayer that have been used for centuries in Christianity. Whether you’re a beginner who is just learning how to pray, or a more mature Christian who has been at it awhile, this course will offer specific guidance, encouragement and support for practicing several time-tested methods of prayer.  Enjoy a review of this course by Rich.

Enjoy Rich’s post: Does God Wake You Up At 3 in the Morning?

Enjoy Rich’s review of Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice – Book Review