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When We Need “De-centering”

Written on March 10, 2016

We can certainly understand why a crowd would respond when seeing miraculous healings of every kind (Mt 15:31). They put all the honor on Jesus; they were “ascribing honor to Him, acknowledging Him as to His acts and His glory because Jesus’ innate glory was brought to light.”

But does it take long until we try to reproduce or put into a jar of our own such a magnificent moment or experience?

For some reason, this puts in mind the finger-finger coordination test done in school in my era which involved taking both arms, sweeping them around full circle until they were in front of us. With eyes closed we were bringing them together hopefully meeting one index fingertip squarely on the index of the opposite hand. We landed! But what happens with this landing? We close the circle and conclude this is God and His current presence and work. It is now enclosed in our grasp, our church, our movement. It’s been apprehended, comprehended, summed up. It boils down to a thing of control…with us at the center.

Some years ago, M Robert Mulholland wrote an article about DECENTERING as God’s movements continually bring His center to another place while we assume our structures have Him right at the middle. It is ourselves at the middle; He has moved! “The God who had become the maintainer and sustainer of our status quo…is suddenly eclipsed by the troubling, disturbing, uncontrolled God who decenters our life by coming to us from the margins and beyond to call us to an often unimagined center…God will encounter us in ever more marginalized ways until we …learn to live comfortably in the ever moving center of God’s presence and action in our world.”

So it seems our fingertips that try to find their complementary partner do best to remain in suspension, not enclosing or confining Him into a box. As Jesus’ Disciples realized the “over and above” of Jesus’ acts in the collection of excess fragments from the miraculous feeding (Mt 15:37), so His ways go “exceedingly above all we ask or think” (Eph 3:20). If we give Him the freedom of ever moving, it sounds like we can come into the universe’s room of “comprehending…the depth” (vs 18), “dimensions and sphere of activities of God’s counsels and Christ’s love that occupies that sphere.”

And what will happen when we live in the midst of these exceeding dimensions, rather than attempting to surround them? “To Him be glory in the Church…” (Eph 3:21), “glorifying the God of Israel” (Mt 15:31) at “the revelation and manifestation of all He has and does…”

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