Inhale. Exhale. Spirit is breath. To breathe or to pray or to meditate is to participate in unity.
“We are one in the spirit. We are one in the Lord.”
Is unity something that we can think or plot or strategize ourselves into? Is there anything unique about Christian unity that distinguishes itself from the inherent unity that binds all things?
“We are one but we’re not the same. We get to carry each other.”
Particularity or plurality? Unity or diversity?
This is the week I turned off Jon Stewart because I didn’t want to hear another word about a particular death and what it means to our world. This is the week a particular resurrection might remind us of the peace that passes all understanding.
This is the week that Rachel Held Evans called Jesus followers to unity with her wonderfully creative “Rally To Restore Unity,” and all I could think of was singing “They’ll know we are Christians by our love.” I suggest all my fellow unity-bloggers belt out a verse or chorus.
The more I thought about her admirable call, the more I thought how sad it made me that we who follow Jesus would need to make this call to “restore” a unity that Christ always already embodies for the universe.
Nagging notions in my gut give traction to the transcendent heresy of hope and the imminent discomfort of our collective denial that unity exists as alpha and omega, describing the delicate dynamo of God’s true nature.
Perhaps Christians have such a problem with ecumenical unity within our own faith tradition because too many of us are fundamentally incapable of imagining a deeper harmony of interspiritual accord with people of other faiths?
Perhaps Christians cannot comprehend unity in their debates about the historical Jesus Christ because they’ve yet to experience the transhistorical and mysterious unity of the Cosmic Christ?
The more I experience Christ, the more I admit that at the depth of my monotheism is what Marcus Borg describes as Christian panentheism. The more I think about restoring unity, the more I want to simply recognize unity, confess unity, celebrate unity.
We don’t so much need to repent from ruining unity with our doctrinal debates and theological attacks but rather repent from the idea that in the love of Jesus anything but unity would ever be plausible or possible.
We cannot create unity as much as we can bask in the created unity. We cannot restore unity as much as we can rekindle it and relish in the redemption born in our bones and bought on the cross.
Breaking body and bread, anything but unity exists only in our heads.
Richard Rohr writes, “If there is indeed one God of all the earth, then it is this one God who is breaking through in every age and culture . . .” He continues, “Although we use the phrase ‘peace of mind,’ there is really no such thing. When you are in your mind, you are never truly at peace, and when you are truly at peace, you are never in your mind.”
Prayer is the dare for those of us who care about unity.