Spirit, Self-Trancendance, Community
This quote is too long to post to Twitter from the Kindle app, so I’m posting it here.
This conception of the Spirit’s relation to the human person and to human community rings true for me.
Pannenberg sees in the heightened exocentric capability of humans the basis for their uniqueness from other animal forms. In the being-with-others that characterizes their existence, they are able to transcend themselves — to look back on themselves again — and thereby to develop self-consciousness. This exocentrically based development of self-consciousness indicates [this] to him as well as the connection between humans and Spirit. Pannenberg credits the self-transcendence required for this process to the action of the Spirit, who lifts humans above themselves, so that when they are ecstatically with others they are themselves. For this reason self-transcendence cannot be accomplished by the subject itself. Rather, all knowing is possible only through the Spirit.
By extension, the same ecstatic working of the Spirit found in the individual is the basis for the building of community. In fact, community is always an experience brought by the Spirit, who lifts one above oneself.
I expect worship to be an experience that lifts me out of my pre-occupation with myself. Thus, it is far more than a ritual or a form. Ritual and form may help — or not. It’s more than the music. The ritual and the music lift me beyond myself, and allow me to connect with God and with others. I am released, to a degree, from self-preoccupation. I see myself from new perspective.
And, I really think that is what people mean when they say things like: “The Spirit was really here this morning.”
And, the Spirit creates community. Real community demands that we see beyond ourselves.
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