Last night at Journey we talked about spiritual maturity and harmony, where we begin to see God’s presence all around us and begin to realize in a deep way how we are all connected. In that place, our love for God becomes both more personal and less about us. That change is really, really significant, but it’s subtle enough (and full of enough mystery) to defy easy description. Moltmann talks about this contemplation of God’s presence in Sun of Righteousness, Arise! (p.184) and, as usual, says it far better than I could:
The vision of God confers eternal community with God and likeness to God. The seeing of the divine plenitude is the highest form of the love of God, the love of God for God’s sake. This loving vision of God lets those who see it forget themselves, but it does not make them selfless. They do not lose themselves, and are not submerged in the ocean of the deity. They remain themselves; otherwise the seeing of God would lose its subject. The love unites those who are different and distinguishes those who are joined…The sight of God leads to fruitio Dei, the full enjoyment of God. It is not only the eyes which are blessed with the perception of what was hidden; it is all the senses, with which the presence of God is tasted, felt, smelled, heard and seen, so that God will be ‘all in all’. In this way an eternal blessedness comes into being in the eternal life. The eternal blessedness comes about when the whole pleroma or fullness of the deity opens itself. That transcends earthly happiness through continually new delight and through never-ending jubilation.”
To forget yourself, but not to lose yourself…this is the tension of having your faith become more deeply personal (and therefore effective, in that you are truly living it out) while at the same time being less about Y.O.U. This blessedness feels like a kind of fullness, a wholeness, that can only mean the presence of God. And the kind of love that can unite those who are different and distinguish those who are joined? That is the deep mystery of the love of God, brought to us in the communion of Father, Son and Spirit, unique and yet one.
I think I could attempt to write all day about this and not get a word-handle on it. As a word person, this is frustrating. As a follower of Jesus, it’s the way I recognize the Way- clearly visible, yet impossible to own/describe/summarize/categorize/control. And that place is how I know I’m home.