Helping each other become fully alive in Jesus Christ
“The glory of God is a human being fully alive; and the life of human beings consists in beholding the vision of God”
St. Irenaeus of Lyons, 2nd Century.
Irenaeus brings us so close to the very first Christian believers. He was born in the second century and grew up in the town of Smyrna, on the western coast of Turkey, where he heard the elderly bishop Polycarp teach. Polycarp had been taught by the apostle John. Irenaeus later became the second bishop of Lyons, France.
Irenaeus sees in God becoming a human being the genesis of one's transformation, a new creation. He writes, “Our Lord Jesus Christ, through his transcendent love, became what we are, that he might bring us to be what he is himself.” He is describing within the person of Jesus, the plan God has for every human being. Created in the image of God, the ultimate purpose of human beings is to reflect the divine image, as male and female, becoming Christlike. Thus, our aim in helping others become fully alive is not about self-improvement; rather, it's about cosmic restoration trickling down to helping one live in communion with Christ, the Fully Alive One. A new life of spiritual formation begins, a journey towards becoming more like Jesus. "If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come" 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Image by Scott Laumann, writer of our St. Aidan icon.