When I was a child, my father spoke of sin as a separation from God and others, a broken relationship, while theologian Paul F. Knitter sees God as a connecting spirit..
This is so true, we are intimately connected with the divine through all our relationships, through relationships with one another and all of creation.
In his book, Without Buddha I Could Not Be a Christian, in writing about Thich Nhat Hanh’s idea of “interbeing,” Paul tells us that understanding God through relationships is critical and that the source and power of our relationships is driven by the presence of the "Holy Spirit."
If I may paraphrase Paul, the importance of this concept is summarized by this: “behind and within all the different images and symbols we may use for God—Creator, Redeemer, Word, Spirit, —the most fundamental, the deepest truth we can speak of God is that God is the source and power of our relationships."
I think this is true in all faiths, with all of life. We may call it by another name or use another metaphor or image if you wish, but for me it is simply a mystery, or a very intimate divine memory that draws us to one another. I can easily live in that mystery, accept it completely and watch it be revealed fully in and with and through all of you as our lives unfold together.
Paul Tillich spoke of God as the "Ground of Our Being." Paul Knitter speaks of God, the Divine Ultimate Mystery, as the “Groundlessness of Our Being” when seen through a Buddhist lens of Śūnyatā–Nirvana~Emptiness, or rather the openness of all creation that is ever-changing and expanding.
Arising, seemly endless, "worlds without end," to use a poetic image from Anglican-Episcopal liturgy.
In the spring issue of Parabola Magazine, they explore both sin and grace. You cannot have one without the other, and when you stop to look closely at your own life, you will see that grace abounds. It flows all through your life and the life of others. It flows through all your relationships and creates a unity with the divine that is eternal.
In your deepest memory, your Buddha Mind or Christ Consciousness, your original nature or self, you know this to be true within the Ground and Groundlessness of your being, within the openness of creation and a path that leads us always towards becoming fully human and something beyond, towards a new being, to rebirth and renewal.
Use your own imagination here, the possibilities of being, are endless in a world or worlds without end.
Publisher - Saint Julian Press
Ron Starbuck is an author, poet, the Publisher-CEO of Saint Julian Press, and an Episcopalian.