Monday, August 3, 2009

A Call for Spiritual Formation (9)

Final Paragraph

We invite all people, everywhere, to embrace with us this calling to become like Jesus. By God’s grace, we will seek to become lovers: lovers of God, lovers of people, and lovers of all creation. We will immerse ourselves in a lifestyle that is attentive and responsive to the gracious presence of God. We commit ourselves to the community of Christ’s beloved, the church, so that we can learn this way of love together. We entreat you to join us.

The final paragraph is an invitation to embrace the calling to be like Jesus. It will involve (1) becoming lovers of God, people and all creation; (2) immersing in a lifestyle that is “attentive and responsive” to presence of God; and (3) committing to Christian communities of faith “so that we can learn this way of love together.” Thus the call is to love God and live in such a way in community that such a love may be learned and practiced. This is a fitting conclusion to the various aspects of a call to Christian spiritual formation highlighted above.

This is a comprehensive statement as it cut across all denominational lines and Church traditions to call for a return to the basic of our Christian spiritual life- that of growing into Christlikeness. Unfortunately as with many such statements or creeds, it falls short with the praxis of it. How are we, who answer the call to such spiritual formation, to apply it and make it work in our communities of faith (be it churches, fellowship and other small groups, etc), our daily jobs, lifestyles, and engagement with the dominant culture of our time? It is my sincere hope that those who answer this call from the four corners of the world will develop in their own unique situations, Christian spiritual formation components, that will embrace the process of growing into Christlikeness in communities of faith in deepening their love for God, other people, and all creation.


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