Thesis 9: It's Already There

This post is part of a series of meditations on each of Luther's "95 Theses." You can view all posts in the series here.
9. Therefore the Holy Spirit in the pope is kind to us, because in his decrees he always makes exception of the article of death and of necessity.
It's interesting how Luther makes a distinction between the pope himself being kind and the Spirit being kind via the pope. So often we know the right choice to make, yet can often almost objectively watch ourselves choose the wrong decision, an indifferent balloon self floating above an angry outburst or an impatient attitude.

But despite this, the Spirit in us is unwavering, always making the exception Luther seeks here in order to be forgiven. This, for me, is the kind of prayer I've been trying to teach myself after having to unlearn so much of what I was taught about how to connect with God.

I'm coming to understand prayer as a way of connecting to what God is already doing within me, and recognizing the same in other people. Isn't this also the truest way to do "mission," to see with Christ's eyes what Kingdom work is already being done, find ways to use your gifts to augment the work, and to do it?

Not Christian work, not church work, not work that keeps our comfort level stable. Kingdom work. Work towards justice that will destroy our lives for good, and build them back up more beautifully than we can imagine.

A friend recently commented that lots of people she knows probably wouldn't have stood with Martin Luther King during the Civil Rights Movement, probably for numerous reasons. This is a striking thought, and likely true.

Which directions are the winds of justice blowing that we are battening down the hatches against, that we are not paying attention to, that we are too afraid to follow? 

Will we recognize the work of the Spirit within us and join it? Or continue to divide our True and Shadow Selves and continue to patch up the glass houses we build around ourselves?


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