Pathways - Lent VI
When a puzzle is finished, a pie is just out of the oven, or the harvest moon shines in the sky, we recognize wholeness When all parts are in balance, the ying and yang, the masculine and feminine, the dark and the light, we recognize wholeness. Wholeness, when it is realized, seems to suggest completion. A lack of nothing. A sense of harmony, balance, connection.
As human beings, we tend to see that wholeness is not something that happens quickly over- night. It is a journey. Even life's journey. As Christians, we believe that wholeness is a journey toward the cross and through the resurrection of Christ. As a result, wholeness seemed the perfect theme for Holy Week. It is in this week that we walk the last few days of the life of Jesus of Nazareth . . . a walk that brought an end to all that separates us from God and reconciled all the world to God and one another. With the cross there is no piece missing, no imbalance. All are One. Wholeness reached.
Interestingly enough, both Holy and Whole have the same German root "Heilig." Our scripture tells us we are made in God's image. We are holy. When we live as holy people, we step into our wholeness. When we step into our wholeness we live a holy life.
And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.
I take literally the statement in the Gospel of John that God loves the world. I believe that the world was created and approved by love, that it subsists, coheres, and endures by love, and that, insofar as it is redeemable, it can be redeemed only by love. I believe that divine love, incarnate and indwelling in the world, summons the world always toward wholeness, which ultimately is reconciliation and atonement with God. [Wendell Berry, The Art of Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays]
Both passages remind us that wholeness is not reached by ourselves alone. It is through reconciliation, a gift given to us by Chris, that we are made whole. Whole, not simply as an individual, but as a body. Wholeness is holy communal life.