Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Mystical Life of Communion (notes) VI

Here’s where it gets good... I skipped a session, so a little review is in order.

Contemplation has two distinct definitions.
1. Posture:
“I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts , and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.” Psalm 119:14-16 (NKJV)
In this, we see a posture of contemplation that is active. A person actively contemplates God’s ways. This is the definition of contemplation that we will make usage of in the course.

2. Experience
This is the usage of the mystics, it is a communion in which God infuses (or pours in) revelation of Himself directly to the spirit. This is passive, as a person merely receives of it. It is initiated and withdrawn by God himself.

Object of Contemplation
“Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another, And shall declare Your mighty acts. I will meditate on the glorious splendor of Your majesty, And on Your wondrous works. Men shall speak of the might of Your awesome acts, And I will declare Your greatness.” (Psalms 145:3-6 NKJV)
In this verse we see clearly the two focuses of contemplation: God’s majesty (God himself), and God’s works.

“Communion is ultimately the question of intimacy, and the substance of intimacy is living knowledge. The way in which we acquire knowledge of God is through His self-revelation. By directing our attention to the ways in which God has graciously manifested Himself and spoken to us, we encounter the truth concerning Him. Contemplation (the posture of hearing and beholding) is the act of attentiveness on our part to Divine self-disclosure. This is why meditation is the doorway into communion and also the one needful thing.” -Steven V.

Jesus is the premier object of contemplation. He is God incarnate, the “authoritative and exhaustive revelation.” He is the living encounter of God, rather than a stale doctrine, or a veiled revelation. He is the personhood of God, through who we can know the Father.

“God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son.” (Hebrews 1:1-2 NKJV)

Jesus is the ultimate revelation of God, and we need look no further than to him to seek out the deepest things of God. He is the center point of revelation, the whole purpose of the scriptures. All things point to him. He answers the questions, “Who is God?” and “What is he like?”

“Lacking this foundational understanding, countless Christians relate to God as though the Incarnation has not happened and seek to know God in a manner more reminiscent of the Old Covenant than new Testament reality.” -Steven V.

How often have I done this? Overlooking Jesus and His Spirit within, and looking for some other form of revelation, or seeking to find out who he is through other means? It’s so simple just to look to Jesus, and yet I rarely seem to do it! How blessed am I that He loves me enough to rebuke me as He did the Pharisees. Truly, the greatest question was the one He asked Peter, “Who do you say that I am?” How well do I really know Him?

Jesus is revealed as the Living Word of God, the Wisdom of God, and the Light of God.
John 1:1-2,14, Colossians 2:2-3, 1 Corinthians 1:23-24,30, Isaiah 11:2, Matthew 12:42, 2 Corinthians 4:6, etc.

This is just the doorway to contemplation... much, much more in the notes... Now if I could just clear up some time to do this... maybe I should just go out and become a hermit... hm, I wonder if you have to support raise to do that?

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Kansas City, Missouri, United States
I'm a full-time lover of Jesus. I work, learn, and pray at the International House of Prayer in Kansas City. I live simple, and seek God with all my heart.

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