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It Is Finished! No! Wait! I'm Not Quite There Yet!

Franciscan priest and Catholic mystic writes in his book, The Universal Christ, "The Christian life is simply becoming who we already are." That simple notion, if you wish to call it that, is a biblical one (1John 3:1-2) and is a sharp contrast to much of what is preached in many churches today. Honestly, I've always struggled with the perspective that we Christians, though gaining "salvation" never quite become "all that we can be."

Not long ago I tuned into a virtual church service and heard the young, dynamic and good intentioned preacher tell his congregation over and over again that "God wants your all!" Sure, on one hand no doubt God wants us which I would redefine as "God loves us." But that message, like so many of that genre, comes to the hearer with the subtle emphasis that you have not given your haven't arrived yet where God wants you to be in your loyalty, service, giving and perhaps even loving.

I can't imagine how many in the audience have gone to church most their lives, middle aged or beyond, who are being told after all these years, "Hey, in case you didn't know, God wants your all!" After all these years of having faith, you still haven't given your all to God! It is an endless Groundhog's Day of repetitive half time pep talks to the team that is always behind and needs to bump it up a notch in order to win the game. What's crazy is that most of us love that message because it gives us purpose, i.e., there's more work to do, either in our personal spiritual lives let alone in the world around us. In our Western spirituality we crave more knowledge and understanding over and above the experience of the mystery of union with God.

What if God already gave his all which makes us already complete? Sure, we can always experience more of God, but not because a preacher tells us to but because we earnestly desire to come close to the One who designed us in His own image giving us a deep yearning to be loved and to love. God has already given us everything we need that pertains to living and even a form of godliness. What more do we need to do besides live, love and worship God? Ahhhh....that's too simple.

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