In my last blog post I (Rich) wrote of our being grounded in the love of God. It is not our loving that is the essential thing, but our being love by the Trinitarian God. We long to belong and our deepest sense of belonging is in Christ. Our longing for our truest place is satisfied not by something we create or achieve but it is a gift from God. The gift of eternal life is ours by faith. This eternal life is nothing less than God’s life in us (the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit) and our life in him (our life is now hidden in Christ with God). Our belonging is then our participating in the life of the Trinitarian God.
The reformer John Calvin made the point that by the Holy Spirit’s miraculous work we by faith are incorporated into the Savior (Institutes II, ii, 10). Julie Canlis (Calvin’s Ladder, p.144) in commenting on Calvin writes, “The Holy Spirit is critical here, as the one who mediates the human, crucified, and ascended life of Jesus.” It is important that we not overlook the totality of life of the incarnate Christ in whom we participate through the Holy Spirit. Our participation in the very life of God is dependent on the humanity of our Savior. Our miraculous and, in one sense, mystical incorporation into Christ is the very ground of our being and the source of our deepest joy. It is this communion of incorporation in the very life of God by the Holy Spirit for which we are designed. When we come to know experientially that we are in Christ we find our place.
Our soul grounded in Christ is psychologically restored to our created essence in God. The deepest terrain of the Imago Dei (our being made in the image of God) is now accessible to us. This grounding and the experience of being in the life of God free the soul from the limiting constraints of the ego’s exaggerations. This means we no longer have to depend on our intellectual prowess, or emotional attunement, professional or personal achievements or experience of sexual intimacy or anything else to know we belong. Our exaggerated fear, shame and guilt due to sin are addressed in Christ because in him we are secure, valued and celebrated as sons and daughters. And we are free! Our egos can relax because the deepest source of our true self, the relational and substantial essence of our truest identity and vocation is now ours in Christ. Now we are free to thrive. We are free to become fully human. We are free to become our truest self in Christ!