You Are Greater Than You Know
I am larger, better than I thought,
I did not know I held so much goodness.
- Walt Whitman, "Song of the Open Road"
Salvation is joy in God which expresses itself in and with one's neighbor
- Brennan Manning, "The Ragamuffin Gospel"
I believe that most of us live our lives not ever realizing the capacity for greatness that exists within us. And by "greatness," I don't mean stature or status as defined by our image-conscious culture.
What I mean is the kind of greatness that is found when we discover our true calling---when we unlock the very purpose that not only brings us giddy, unmitigated joy but also changes the world around us to something better, more beautiful and true.
This is the kind of greatness that manifests itself most truly in the ways it draws us closer to others, builds life-giving relationships, breaks down the artificial barriers between people and creates a beloved community.
When Jesus told his followers, "Whoever has the Son has life," he wanted them to understand that his way of life was one that led to salvation.
Most Christians define salvation as: "going to heaven when you die." I think Jesus would have smiled at such a notion and would have replied, "Really? That's all the imagination you have?"
Jesus taught that eternity isn't something that happens later. Eternity begins now. He taught that if we woke up to this reality, and began living our life accordingly, we would begin to understand our own potential for greatness.
"You are the light of the world," he told his followers. "A city on a hill cannot be hidden." In another moment he told them, "The kingdom of God is within you."
In other words, when you wake up to the crazy-wonderful, radically inclusive, challenging and incredible reality of a life spent stumbling after Jesus, you also begin to realize your own potential for greatness.
And that kind of greatness is contagious--it draws people to you, and you to them. When this happens, all manner of things can be transformed, beginning with you and me.
So live greatly today and every day. Know that you have the potential to change your world, to impact the lives of others, to do great things in the name of Jesus and for the sake of God's kingdom on earth.
Know this, and take courage. And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always. Amen.