The world is in flux. Life is in flux. It is fluid and ever moving. Have you ever taken water, poured it into a mug, then into an old Cocoa-Cola bottle, then into a square cup (seen in those art nouveau restaurants that serve little tiny meals and really big prices)? What happens to the water? It changes shape as it shifts from one container to another. Yet the water itself doesn’t change. It’s still made up of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. On the molecular level, it’s still the same. The only thing that’s changed is what it is containing it. It is literally fluid, ever moving, ever changing, yet always staying the same.
That’s the same thing as with the Gospel message (oh, crap, people are going to start being ticked…bear with me, please). The Gospel message is the same. It is the same message given from the very beginning, realized, moved forward, and initiated in Jesus, and continues to move forward in the world. Yet at the same time it is translated, changing shape but never changing content. It is translated into so many different languages. Not just into the language itself, but into the culture itself. The container it is in is different but the actual message is the same.
Even though the message is the same as it changes containers, spirituality itself is in flux. And this is weird to tell the truth. For years, people didn’t want to be spiritual. After so many wars in the 16th and 17th century, people wanted to be rational, logical people, not spiritual. And so logic and reason prevailed in the western world. Until some odd years ago when people rediscovered spirituality. And more so rediscovered true spirituality–the Gospel Message of life in Jesus, new spiritual life and vitality in Jesus.
He’s always been there. He’s always been with us. He’s always offered us spiritual life and vitality. Yet instead of approaching Jesus in a spiritual heartfelt vein, he was approached through logic and reason in an attempt to make him fit into a container he was never meant to fit into. And in doing so, he over spilled into the world around us.
Today there is a hunger for spiritual things. Spirituality is in flux. We as a people yearn and hunger for spiritual things, for meaning of life, the universe, and everything (and no, the actual answer isn’t 42). In searching for true spirituality, we search for peace. We search for a peace that calms the soul and heart. Jesus offers true spirituality when our spirituality is in flux.
Jesus says to his disciples when they are in flux, seeking and worrying
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27
Later on in the letters of Paul, Paul writes about how the peace of God, the peace of Jesus is tied up in prayer and thankfulness.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7
This peace that is offered isn’t your normal peace. To us today peace means an absence of conflict. That’s not what true peace is. The word for peace in the Old Testament is shalom. It means more than just peace. It means the knowledge, understanding, and feeling of closeness with God as it was supposed to be in the Garden of Eden. That is the peace that Jesus gives to his disciples and to us. That is the peace which transcends all understanding and guards our hearts and minds that is given to us when we come to God in Jesus’ name laying with thanksgiving all our anxieties in prayer before him.
We are spiritual people. We seek out the spiritual, now more than ever. Yet we seek it out in was that aren’t effective. We think that the message of life, of new spiritual life, found in Jesus can be placed anywhere and can take on any molecular form. Mercury is also found in liquid form. It can be poured into different containers and change it’s outwards shape but still contain its molecular make up. Mercury is poisonous and can lead to death. Water gives life. Jesus is the living water which gives us a new spiritual life (John 4:10).
Spirituality is in flux. Do you want to truly be a real spiritual person? Do you desire to be spiritually alive? It is more than just trying out the smorgasbord of spirituality that is around us where you pick and choose what you want to believe in and go back for seconds when you’re done with it. It is living the Gospel and Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, lives in you, making you truly spiritually alive.
When this happens, spirituality is no longer in flux, but alive, moving, fluid, and real. Are you spiritually in flux right now? Do you want stability? There is true stability and spiritual life and vitality ready and waiting. Will you stay in flux?