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At-One-Ment vs. Atonement

Updated: Sep 7, 2023


This morning as I read through the Psalms, just after a Richard Rohr post by the same name (see below)*, I found myself pondering humanity's walk out of ignorance.


I use that word for comparison given the current knowledge base available to us, versus that known by the most learned of those in Abram, Moses and even the Psalmist's day. The occasional prophet, such as Ezekiel and others forecast a glimpse of things to come, their language strange back then given mankind's limited thoughts, some leaping well beyond even our own.


Can you imagine how patient and limited an all-knowing Being had to be to speak into their lives! Mystery is an understatement when used to describe the crafting of this book we call the Bible. Religion has always been our response to things God breathed, with "truths" proffered as numerous as the stars over time.


To use words to describe this Being who "sits over" millions of galaxies, "far beyond our finding out" is futile apart from a personal relationship, a spirit connectedness which this writer is convinced of more than ever, given my seventy-five years of engagement. Some of those years more God's mercy than my choices.


Comprehending such a One is beyond my ability, a Being willing to accommodate our minimalistic thoughts, while walking generations toward an understanding of who "He" is, and who they (we) were created to be is frankly, dumbfounding!


The beautiful thing is our diversity, both by way of our physical beings, as well as our spiritual callings, each of us a unique "piece of God" that also passes understanding! Wonder is what wells up in me.


With a science degree from 1970, I boast of a fifth grade equivalency, relative to today's knowledge base, though I do try to keep up. I am realizing more and more that my Newtonian approach to physics is now kindergarten level knowledge in comparison to Quantum realities.


"Systems with quantum behavior don't follow the rules that we are used to, they are hard to see and hard to “feel”, can have controversial features, exist in several different states at the same time - and even change depending on whether they are observed or not."


One author states that our physical bodies were designed to provide the illusion of matter for sake of our survival as spiritual beings in a world more energy than matter.


When my mind goes there, spiritual realities which I have sometimes questioned, though privileged in my experiences of "things not seen", become more easily fathomed. My Momma would say, "Johnny Ray, what are you talking about!"


I am more convinced than ever, in some mysterious way, that my journey from the streets of an impoverished rental neighborhood, my degree in the sciences, the necessity of a continued learning spanning thirty years in the profession of education, along with overlapping years of religious engagement and community leadership was providential to my understanding given this moment in time! I am still prone toward run-on sentences, though married to an English teacher!


Bare with me, forgiving my random thoughts, as I listen to the Spirit and attempt communicating with a transparency that threatens my reputation and questions my sanity, as I trust my writing is an act of love.


I seem now stirred more than ever by this God whom I know as Christ. An all-loving God who needed no appeasement of wrath, though this violent world surely discolored the God inspired conversations of primitive writers in such a way that even when God became flesh, Jesus' life and words fulfilling the deepest truths of love, all like scarlet thread captured even since Moses's Genesis, now woven into one book, yet, we killed Him as an imposter!


We needed a sacrifice to appease thousands of years of limited images of this God of the Third Heaven, especially in light of our known injustices! The Christ was however willing, fulfilling what man thought needed. He "bore our sins," quieting our guilt sufficient that we might hear and know At-One-Ment, the goal from the earliest "garden" which Moses described!


It even seems at times that we lesser beings are on stage, a demonstration of the power of love acted out before beings far superior, who prrhaps somewhere in time challenged that very concept (Isaiah 12:14-15)?




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