We are

The model of the God who did not see his divinity something to be asserted but made himself a slave, dying on our behalf is more than a good tale of service to us; it is the model of service for us, suggesting a kenotic ecclesiology as we are the body of Christ. Indeed, “I am,” in sending the Son to us and for us, transforms us, the objects of society, into becoming a perichoretic communion, participating, in freedom, with the Triune God, lifted out of our circumstances into the fullness of community, each as our own person, expressing our true identity, as we participate in the source of all identity. “I am” transforms “us” into becoming the “we are”. We are, with I Am, a new kind of humanity, called to express this in all our lives, modeled and trained within the holistic community that is the church. In the power of the Spirit we are no longer objects to be acted upon, by oppressors or by dysfunctional systems, but rather we become ourselves the subjects of God’s continuing, transforming work.

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4 Responses to We are

  1. Doris Darrow says:

    Can you say that again in simple English for people like me? I think I agree with you, but….

  2. Patrick Oden says:

    We are supposed to seek power and domination or control over other people, especially in the church. And we’re certainly not supposed to objectify God, using him or his name, for our own goals.

    Rather, God worked by sending his son, who did not come in power, but came among us, participating with humanity as a man, gathering together people and entrusting them with his teaching. He died. Then rose again.

    The Spirit was sent to make manifest the power of God among all those who participate with Christ in the salvation he has given.

    So, the “I am” sent the Son, who takes us out of our selfish attempts to get identity by dominating or using other people. Instead, the Spirit leads us in our walk with Christ by forming us into a people who are called into the mission of Christ.

    Church, then, isn’t about gathering around certain objects or fixtures or anything that might objectify God or our service to God. Rather, the community of Christ is about becoming a sort of people together who reflect, as individuals, and as a community the priorities and purpose of Christ.

    We’re not objects, nameless and formless, in a church just there to fill up space or take from another. We’re there as subjects of God’s work, so that together we all participate in his calling in this world and for this world. The church exists not to gather together nameless objects around other objects of devotion, but to be a place where many different people, each subjects of God’s work, gather together to join together in pursuing the mission of God in this world.

    The I Am gathers together the We Are so that we all proclaim Christ’s salvation into eternity.

    Was that better? I really do need to practice making it more approachable.

  3. Patrick Oden says:

    “We are supposed to seek power and domination or control over other people, especially in the church.”

    OOPS… it should be “We are not supposed to…”

    I was a heretic with my mistake!

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