Engrafted into Christ, saints are, like Jesus, the human form of divine love in their time. As the body of Christ, saints “have the mind of Christ.” When we are thus in our right mind (as George Fox might put it), we are guided by the agapē-nature, “that of God,” in our hearts. Being so guided, we do not need laws, rules, principles, values, or even the example of the Jesus of scripture, to live by: as Jesus taught, law is fulfilled and transcended in active love.
Particularly in this age of what Jean-François Lyotard called “incredulity toward metanarratives,” when master-narratives such as Christianity are perceived as inherently oppressive, to be missional must be to live “in Christ.” The first Quakers knew that to be “in Christ” is to be liberated from the self-centeredness that produces human injustice. [...]
My interest lies in reading the text from a traditional Quaker perspective, which stresses scripture as pointer to inward reality and asserts that the living Christ, not the scripture, is the “Word” of God ….
Nayler was engaging in a bit of “street theater” to demonstrate … that the same Spirit which was in Jesus and his disciples is available to us today ….
We still live under the God of war, not the Prince of Peace. … The “ocean of darkness” is disheartening, but I find courage in the example of those Friends who, despite the failure of the eschaton, never forsook their commitment to the spirit of justice and peace….
The gift of spiritual life, while received and acting inwardly, remains always outside us, “at hand” but beyond our grasp — the gracious presence of the Spirit, the divine relationality ….
An unusual word, one that is rich in associations for me, comes to mind this morning. It’s a word that I learned just a few years ago: dehiscence. It appeals to me because it has two primary meanings … that are discordant in an instructive way, showing how a change in perspective can make the difference between death and life. [...]
According to the first Friends, “that of God in every one” is not simply something in us that calls us to remember God, nor is it an inherent divine identity ….