From the Pastor-Oct. 2018

Oct 12, 2018 by

Last month, we touched upon two inseparable teachings of the early Egyptian fathers. The first of these was by Abba Alonius, who said:  “If a [person] does not say in his [or her] heart, in the world there is only myself and God, [that person] will not gain peace.”   This shocked the teachers’ disciples, and still shocks us, as it was intended to do.  It was to cause us to realize that in order to love God with all of who we are, we must first claim our own selfhood.  We must realize that our identity comes from God alone.  To do this, we must learn to turn loose of a need for other people’s approval in order to feel okay about ourselves.  If we can feel good about ourselves only when others approve of us, we give others the power to define our identity for us, and we thus do not have a wholeness of self.  Without a whole self, we cannot love in a healthy way.

The wonderful thing is that when we seek our identity solely in God, we come to learn that God calls us beloved.  That is our identity in God, through Christ and the Holy Spirit.  When we gain our sense of self solely from God’s love for us, then we begin to grow in our love for God.  And inevitably, we also grow in our ability to love others.  This leads us, next month, to the second of these inseparable teachings.


Blessings in the Spirit,

Betsy Caudill

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