The liturgical season we are in is called “ordinary time”. A rather non-descript name for the time which follows Pentecost. The coming of the Spirit at Pentecost completely changed how Jesus’ disciples went about their days, there was suddenly nothing “ordinary” about it.
As Christians, we are trying to carve out a new “ordinary”. Living with and by the Holy Spirit is not just occasional moments or in “spiritual” situations, it is a constant, on-going, continuous living.
The Holy Spirit dwells in us, not visits occasionally. God came as Jesus, to pitch his tent among ours, to bring the holy tabernacle to the people in their secular and mundane worlds. Life with God is not reserved for Sunday, but is an integral part of even being alive.
If we are claiming to have died with Christ and now live by God’s resurrection power, then it can’t be separate, it is life.
But that doesn’t mean changing our patterns of being, our habits, our thoughts, the very way we make decisions or form understanding, is done in a flash. It’s not an instant transformation. Yes, God can break bondage, setting us free, but we still need to choose to live in that freedom, to change how we live and not return.
Neuroscience continues to amaze us with how re-conformable, rewritable our brains are, but unless we go in with a knife, it is a slow and often tedious process. That’s one of the reasons I write daily affirmations, to reinforce new brain pathways, to remind myself how I want to think, to re-orient my mind again and again until it becomes part of its physical being.
We need to make this new life we live by the Spirit our new ordinary. This faith cannot be a shallow thing. It must enter into the depths of our being, the marrow of our bones, transforming the ways our brains and minds function.
To become Christian, to become a “little-Christ”, is to have our sight transformed until we see with God’s eyes, to have our minds and understanding transformed until we think in God’s ways and make sense of the world through Christ, and it is to have our hands and feet transformed until we are doing God’s work.
It is not a thin veneer put over the top of our lives, like a layer of polish. It is a deep reforming of our being. Moment by moment, day by day, until we are transformed into Christ’s likeness.
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