Atonement and abundance


Atonement is the work of Christ on earth. Atonement is the reconciliation of God and humankind through Jesus Christ. Atonement is reparation for wrong or injury, for sin.

I believe the primary work of Christ on earth was to bring good news to the poor and set the captives free. To take humankind out of the narrow, limited, fear-filled lives of sin into abundant freedom and wild joy.

“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

I believe that reparation for sin is reconciliation with God, with life, with our truest selves, and I believe that reconciliation with God is the ultimate experience of love—the opposite of fear.

“Do not worry about your life.” “Do not be afraid.”

The hardest part of this project for my Atonement class has been, for me, choosing an issue to be my focus. We were given a laundry list of possibilities (“Divorce Rate, Muslim/Christian/Jew, Racial Profiling, Abortion, Death Penalty, Reparation for African American Slavery, Same Sex Marriage, Occupy Movement, Sexual Misconduct in Roman Catholic Church, etc.”), all of which have plenty of potential. I even have positions on most of them, but nothing jumped out at me as an area of passion that I could pursue and consider for an entire semester.

Well, there’s only a week or two left for this project, so it’s do-or-die time. And…I still don’t have a nice, neat issue. What I do want to consider with you (over the next few days, you know, since we’re short on time) is fear.

Specifically, because I can’t cover the whole grand concept of “fear” in the next week, I want to talk about a couple of manifestations of fear—one public and one private.

I want to talk about the culture of fear that has laid the foundation for the, er, giant mess that is the 2016 election season,


I want to talk about the fear that leads us as individuals to live lives from a position of scarcity rather than abundance.

Now that’s a lot to talk about. I’m not totally sure yet how I’m going to pull it all together. But I think everything I’ve brought up in this post is interrelated, and I think an insight about one part of the puzzle can shed light on another. I also don’t have the answers. I’m writing my way into this.

So I need your help. I need to know what you think. I need to know your questions, what resonates with you, what you think is wrong. Tell me in comments. Tell me on Facebook. Tell me in person. Email, message, text, or tweet me. Let’s start a conversation!


3 thoughts on “Atonement and abundance

  1. Fascinating topic. Two texts that immediately come to mind that might aid you are these: 1) Aung San Suu Kyi’s Speech/Essay on “Freedom from Fear” and 2) Mary Ruefle’s Lecture/Essay “On Fear” in Madness, Rack, and Honey. I can’t immediately find the PDFs for you, but they should be pretty easy to access if you decide to look them up. They are both much wiser than me on this topic.

    This last word from Emily Dickinson (via “On Fear”): “Had we the first intimation of the Definition of Life, the calmest of us would be Lunatics!”

    • And now I realize, looking at the date of this post, that I’m quite late to the party. Sorry I couldn’t weigh in earlier!

      • Well, I was late to the party in getting my paper done. And ended up changing my topic a bit. But thanks for the resources—they’re great!

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