Someone told me that prayer is as simple as two people embracing and that is how people can know God. That can be a good start and from there people have been known to dice the word communion into common union. Two persons, being the first assumption, are in union and have something in common.
Whew! That works…almost. There is an old proverb from Texas, “Take two cats, tie their tales together and set the knot on fire. You may have union but you don’t have unity”. Where the role of communion in unity comes in with the Creator is to have a receptive and collaborative relationship that rests on the esteem or acceptance of the Creator above all persons and things.
With the popular buzz word of spirituality meaning so many things to so many people, I want to focus here about spirituality and how it can be viewed through a lens of Christian righteousness. This is what acceptance or esteem from the God of the Bible is. The tale of what theologians call salvation history is one of the slow unveiling of that experience of true unity with the creator is all about.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:5).
So along comes Jesus who lays out these layers of spiritual life and says that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness will be filled. If we are not too careful we may see the this all in a passive voice perspective like the believer does not do anything but be filled.
But this is not Jesus’ intent for several reasons. First before getting to this verse he talks about those whose hearts are humble before God, have a conversion experience with sorrow and are humble before their neighbor. The implication is that these steps are needed before one can even discern how much they are in need of God’s will to be complete.
The second implication is back to being receptive and collaborative with God. Focusing for a moment on how the physical satisfaction of hunger and thirst is satisfied we see the different of eating and drinking. To eat food is to put teeth on it, chew and break down through stomach acids is to make the sustenance subject to your processes so that it conforms to the body. To drink is more passive in that liquid assumes the shape of what contains it by flow mechanics.
So it goes in Christian spirituality in that it is responsive process and a flowing process. To have a right relationship with God is to have a balance of both.
But really this was tied in early Christian thought and onwards to the centrality of the cross of Christ. This was put together experientially and sacramentally through a corporate experience of receiving Christ and thanking Him at the same time and thus corporately commune. The Greek word was eucharistia which we know now as the Eucharist where those who commune with Christ receive Him in Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity.
To those who read this and have a relationship with Jesus but outside of the Eucharist, I do not want to disparage what you have in experiencing everything you have with God. My hope for the us is that to the most we all can we “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). As anyone goes further in the journey of faith, take to heart that this righteousness comes from a righteous God who is invested through the sacrifice of the cross into knowing us and making Himself known as the divine initiator of love.
Jesus was very invested in this and prayed accordingly not the night of betrayal and arrest, “Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you; and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them” (John 17:25-26).
So really that is the agenda of the gospel. It is not about being religious members as an end in itself. It comes down to harmony without the fire. What is stopping us?