Philosopy of Adrian - Part Six: Travelling the Path

Continuing to part six of the document prepared for the gathering at Yarrambat...

Continued: Now use this to interpret a few beautiful but widely misunderstood Christian dogmas, ideas and traditions….

Typical Liturgy:

If I simplify the patterns of mainstream, protestant liturgy (what goes on in a church during a church service) – with which I am most familiar – I get four main movements:

1) we gather and appreciate the gift of the diversity in the whole cosmos

2) we express concern/lament/we confess that we have not known and owned our own place in the world, to the detriment of the rest of the world

3) we hear a new story about what is possible out of 1 and 2) and commune around that new possibility.

4) we are sent forth to live that new story

These are equally the steps we are taking as we travel the path shown on the “U”(diagram 3)

Diagram 3

The Canonical Gospels

The Canonical Gospel accounts describe the four accounts of Jesus life that were chosen for inclusion in the Christian testament of the Bible: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. As far as we know they were written in the order Mark, Matthew, Luke, John. Whilst the communities that wrote them shared many similarities there were also clear differences in context, reflected in different emphases and styles. There are arguments ranging from the theological through to the political for why these four were included. Notwithstanding the complexities of all of this, some broad-brush themes have often been applied to each of the Gospel accounts, in terms of what they offer uniquely to the whole Christian story. One set of themes that have meaning for me are:

Mark: there is a theme of Jesus living as the wounded king – This means that divinity (a different type kingship) arises not by pre-ordained asserting of power over the other but by humbly living life

Matthew: there is a theme of Jesus living as the new Moses – divinity arises here by recognising one’s call to leadership (full and unmitigated appreciation of the role offered by the source of all possibilities)

Luke – Jesus living as friend and teacher – divinity arises when we begin to reinterpret life through a new story – a story that is not about maintenance of the measured status quo of the power over system (for example, it is in this Gospel that Jesus is born outside the inn where the other inhabitants have come “to be counted” in a census) but by living in relationship to “all other” (for example, it is in this Gospel that the disciples are dining with the post-resurrection Jesus, but only realise who he is (“his way or his message”) after he shares a meal with them – the meal being a metaphor for deep relating).

John – Jesus living as constant love – divinity arises when we live a majestic vision of “the love drenched way of life” toward God and neighbour.

Whilst I believe that individually each of the Gospel accounts can demonstrate facets of the entire “U” path, these themes suggest that each Gospel account places some emphasis on specific parts of that path, as demonstrated in diagram 4 (over).

Diagram 4

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