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Being a
Human Becoming

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The Revd Dr Christy Capper, Deputy Warden and Lecturer in Systematic Theology, Academic Dean

As I write this, my parents are moving out of their house – the truck is there, the boxes have been packed, and the furniture is headed into a truck. Four years ago, my parents decided to knock down the house, subdivide the land, and rebuild. It is a big decision and a lot of work. I helped them pack boxes when I visited recently; as we did that, we sorted items. What needed to be kept? What wasn’t coming on this move? As we threw out, sold and gave away items that weren’t necessary in their new house, I was thinking about the things that we choose to leave behind.

As we move towards Lent, reflecting on who God is calling us to be is a good idea. All of us are in the process of becoming; in fact, theologian John Macquarrie argues that calling us ‘human becomings’ might be more accurate than ‘human beings’. As we go through life, we grow and change. We are the same person, and yet different as well. So, it is worth thinking about who we are and who God calls us to be and growing on purpose rather than simply responding to what life throws at us.

In speaking of running the race that God sets before us, just as the heroes of faith have done before, Hebrews 12 tells us to ‘throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles’. That verse has always interested me. Given the general themes of Scripture, it seems evident that we should lay off sin. However, the additional call to throw off the things that hinder us is fascinating. What are the things that we have that weigh us down? Perhaps they aren’t sinful, but they get in the way of our relationship with God, of us engaging in God’s human becoming for us.
As we move into Lent, I encourage you to think about who God is calling you to continue becoming – and it’s not just for the young; if you’re alive, you are called to continue becoming more like Jesus, more like the person that God calls you to be!

So, what things in your life, practices, and beliefs might you need to throw off? Not sinful things, but perhaps good things that hold you back. Despite what we sometimes think, we can’t do everything. Maybe there is something good that must be set aside for something better. Like my parents selling or giving away good items because they are no longer needed, no longer suit who they are or the house they will move to, sometimes we need to say goodbye to things to embrace what God has for us and the human becoming God calls us to become.

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