Wednesday, September 9, 2009

More from N. T. Wright on the Spirit

Toward Christian Spirituality
God has promised that, through his Spirit, he will remake the creation so that it becomes what it is straining and yearning to be. God offers us, by the Spirit, a fresh kind of relationship with himself – and, at the same time, a fresh kind of relationship with our neighbors and with the whole of creation. God offers us, through the Spirit, the gift of being at last what we know in our bones we were meant to be: creatures that live in both dimensions of his created order. Finally, God wants to anticipate now, by the Spirit, a world set right, a world in which the good and joyful gift of justice has flooded creation. The work of the Spirit in the lives of individuals in the present time is designed to be another advance sing, a down payment and guarantee, as it were, of that eventual setting-right of all things.

Two things stand out about Christian spirituality: First, Christian spirituality combines a sense of the awe and majesty of god with a sense of his intimate presence. Second, Christian spirituality normally involves a measure of suffering. Point to Gethsemane. Did he really need to go through this? The answer is yes, he did. But if Jesus prayed like that, we can be sure that we will often have to as well. Those who follow Jesus are called to live by the rules of the new world rather than the old one, and the old one won’t like it.

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