“…I was invited to step back and take a look at myself. I quickly learned of my worries, my setbacks and faults, but also my strengths, my capabilities and my potential. The seminary challenged me not to be like Christ, as if… Jesus was a model I merely had to imitate, but to be in Christ, to deepen my knowledge of Him, to hold Him at the centre of my actions, so that in time, I could know myself all the better…”
While I’d want to nuance and expand this seminarians statement, I reflected particularly on the notion of learning to “be in Christ”, in contrast to the more commonly held notion in many circles, which sees Christ as someone we “imitate”. My deepest and most authentic sense of self is not lost in Christ (cf. a co-dependent relationship). I don’t cease to exist in Christ. Rather I discover my deepest, my distinctiveness, and most authentic humanity in Christ and in my deepening relation to Christ.
In Christ, through God’s empowering presence, I become more human, not less human. I’m humanized, not de-humanized.
I also reflected on this quote against the backdrop (in part) of this post by James K. A. Smith.