Romans

The Undivided Life

Parker has a better option. Pull apart that circle you are holding and give one end of the strip a half-twist. Now rejoin the ends. What you have in your hands is a Möbius strip, named after the German mathematician who described it. If you trace with one finger around the strip, you’ll discover that the inside becomes the outside and the outside the inside. Now we are holding a powerful metaphor, a picture of life in the Spirit. This is a good model for what happens to us when we encounter the true God.

Thankfully, I am not a miserable Methodist, but General Conference does challenge my faith in ways that makes me uncomfortable, to say the least. But that is good for me, because no spiritual growth ever comes out of comfort, only out of discomfort. "Through many dangers, toils and snares, I have already come. Tis grace that brought me safe thus far and grace will lead me home." It is amazing grace that teaches us that life in the Spirit is not an easy life. In fact, it has its share of what Rohr calls "necessary suffering." Just look at Jesus. Look at the cross. The cross will tell you that any church that is built on love is a church that is built on suffering. Any Christian who is going on to perfection in love (as Wesley used to say)—that is, learning to love even the enemies of love—is going to endure a lot of suffering. We just have to remember that Jesus' suffering ended in resurrection and, by God's grace, ours will, too.