“For there can
be no particularism of hope; hope loses all sense and all force if it
does not imply the statement of an ‘all of us’ or an ‘all together’.”
The heresy of individualism: thinking oneself a completely self-sufficient unit and asserting this imaginary “unity” against all others. The affirmation of the self as simply “not the other”. But when you seek to affirm your unity by denying that you have anything to do with anyone else, by negating everyone else in the universe until you come down you: what is there left to affirm? Even if there were something to affirm, you would have no breath left with which to affirm.
It’s like smog to the atmosphere of our soul that not only makes breathing difficult but unhealthy. It’s humanities punch to the gut of God that leaves His body breathless.
A dagger that pierces the heart of hope - the body of Christ in Christian community – that leaves it staggering, losing breath.
Jesus breathed on His disciples.
Jesus, the blessed hope, breathed on His disciples. He gave life to the new community initiated by his life, death and resurrection. Since then, we’ve continually placed our hope in other things and are constantly receiving spiritual CPR from any one and any thing we can find…except Jesus.
Is there anything darker than individualism – this mutation of narcissism?
Has vanity become a blinding veil?
Vanity has to have others involved in order to fulfill its purpose. Individualism needs no one else because it is a separation from others. It’s equal to narcissism but too enveloped in it’s self to even make a comparison because it sees no one else.
How can we breathe again?
Just like the disciples, we receive the breath of the blessed hope – the pure oxygen of Jesus. We receive this in communion with the world that Jesus came to save.
This is the breath of faith that we worship God with. This is the breath of hope that enables us to walk with Jesus. This is the breath of love that fuels a life lived in His Spirit.
Father, Son, Holy Spirit.
Faith, Hope, Love.
Like the patch of blue sky amidst the gray clouds of Autumn.
Like the isolated flower along a mountainside trail.
Like a city on a hill.