Saturday, May 29, 2010

the BS report*

We've been looking at the birth narratives in our *bible study. First Matthew, and then Luke. One of the questions posed by our study guide this week had to do with what scripture tells us about why Jesus was born. These end up being great conversations. They start in one, seemingly obvious place, and then the obvious raises a question. And that leads us to more conversation and more questions and more conversation. I love my bs girls.

We get around to the subject of reconciliation. When the conversation is of a spiritual or religious nature the context generally shapes how I hear a word. And though when we began our conversation the word reconciliation pointed me clearly to persons and relationships, there was a sudden shift in my head and I thought, "checkbook." In that context to be reconciled is to have a zero balance. I introduced the notion of zero balance as it might apply to spiritual reconciliation.

No credits or deficits. All things level and equal. Hmm. What would it mean in this sense for someone to have credit? Would that be a good thing? Would it cause trouble? We acknowledged that balance among persons and societies would yield a more peaceful and harmonious universe. But we acknowledged, as well, that human nature and the laws of nature pretty much preclude that. In the animal world alone creatures survive by preying on other creatures. Oddly enough we call that the balance of nature. In the human realm we have the ever-fragile and constantly striving ego that generates a desire for power. Sigh. The idea of zero balance is nice, perhaps, but unrealistic and perhaps, even, necessarily impossible. Next?

In looking for images to use with this post most of them involved an individual. The body was contorted, or on one foot, or holding something that caused the center of gravity to shift and therefore the body to compensate. (Hmm, center of gravity, there's a new dimension to throw into the mix!). The image above, as you can see, involves two people. It seems most relative to the subject of spiritual reconciliation and balance. It demonstrates the necessity of working together to achieve a common goal or purpose. It takes at least two (and in this particular image I'm totally impressed that the woman, supporting this effort, is extraordinarily strong) for the effort to succeed.

This particular physical dynamic is unusual, and, no doubt, difficult to sustain. But it reveals to us what can be achieved when the effort is supplied. For most of us the idea of balance, or reconciliation between individuals, involves engagement. It does not require the kind of dependence needed to achieve the physical reality expressed above. We do our part, we care about the outcome, and we provide the necessary maintenance to keep the entity functioning well. There is more, of course, but for the general purposes of this discussion, the highlights are here.

So why was Jesus born? Oh yes, that was the question!


Jayne said...

I sometimes can't help but think that there would be some serious chuckling about how twisted all of it (and/or translations of it) have become thousands of years later. How muddy the message has become with so many people putting in their two cents worth. Balance is highly underrated. We seem to often operate at extremes, when in the end, peace comes with clarity of balance, no?

Mompriest said...

YES! Wonderful reflection. Love that image too. I work out a lot but even still could not even come close to that - VERY strong.


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