Defining Spirituality

I began reading Eugene Peterson’s Christ Plays in Ten Thousand Places this week. Peterson seeks to “reunite spirituality and theology in a cultural context where these two vital facets of Christian faith have been rent asunder.”

The first chapter seeks to define spirituality in a way that has been the initial intention. Spirituality is not some vague or abstract pursuit- but it is life with God. Peterson says, “Spirituality is…an operation of God in which our human lives are pulled into and made participants in the life of God, whether as lovers and rebels.”

Peterson rightfully points out that spirituality is an operation of God. It is God’s grace that invites us to participate in the God-life. In participation we can either move away from God in rebellion or move closer to God in intimacy and love.

In our spirituality, we are drawn closer to God through Jesus- who is the final and definitive revelation of God. If we accept this about Jesus- Peterson says that we cannot make up our own customized spiritualities because we know too much about Jesus and the spirituality that Jesus had. We are not in a place to pick and choose what we embrace Christians because we have the example and spirituality of Jesus to follow.

The word “spirituality” needs some rehab in our culture and time- to be reclaimed by the Christian community as it is the breath, the Spirit we receive from our relationship with God.

About Steve LaMotte

Husband of Andrea and father of four amazing children. Pastor at Avenue United Methodist Church in Milford, Delaware.
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