Many Thanks!

In everything, there has to be a last day–an ending.  I believe that time has come for Oboedire.  For the past 6.5 years, I have “delivered my soul” on an array of topics directly and indirectly connected to Spiritual Formation.

But so far as new posts are concerned, I have run the race, fought the fight, and finished the course–to borrow Paul’s words.  I began Oboedire with a sense of calling to take it up; I am ending it with a sense of calling to lay it down.

The site will remain available, so that you may return as you like to explore the archived writings, but the original purpose, to provide regular and themed writings related to spiritual formation has come to an end. It’s been a good run.

The impetus for this comes from my realization that there is a new generation of people through whom God is speaking.  You likely are already following those who speak best to you.  I too have my own “new voices” who help me see the ongoing unfolding of God’s revelation.  They are engaged today in ways I simply am not.  I have taken my turn; now it is theirs.

Beyond the present moment, the “great cloud of witnesses” is still there, encouraging us as we run the race set before us.  I end this round of Oboedire encouraging you (as I have before) to root your soul in Scripture and the devotional classics.  This is the good foundation for any spiritual life.

But most of all, stay in love with Jesus. The spiritual life is “beyond belief”–that is, beyond content, doctrines, and dogmas. All these are on the circumference, and they exist as means, not ends. Jesus is Lord! And now, at the right hand of the Father, he exists as the eternal Christ (Alpha and Omega) bringing the Mystery to its glorious culmination (John 1:1-18, Ephesians 1:3-14, Philippians 2:9-11, Colossians 1:15-20, Colossians 3:11, Hebrews1:1-3, 1John 1:1-4, Revelation 1:4-8, and Revelation 7:9).

Your relationship with God is “I-Thou” not “I-It.” Do not settle for things which were never meant to be ultimate. Do not sell your soul to any person or group. Abide in Christ and let him abide in you. The risen, cosmic Christ is your Life!

And with God’s grace enabling you to continue your journey, take everything old and new, and make love your aim.  Follow “the more excellent way.”  Incarnate the two great commandments, manifest the fruit of the Spirit, and help build the Beloved Community where everyone is included (1 John 3:11 and 4:7). Be kind and compassionate to everyone each day.

This expansive vision–the cultivation of an attentive spiritual formation that is both deep and wide–has influenced everything I have written here on Oboedire.  Some of you have been part of the experience from the beginning, others of you are more-recent companions.  Many thanks to you all for allowing me to be part of your lives. You are kind to have done so, and I pray that some of what I have shared has been helpful to you.

Now, may the One Who has begun a good work in you continue to bring it to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Philippians 1:6).

About jstevenharper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 31 books.
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