Benedict’s Rule: The Rule is Christ

It’s a fortunate thing to come to the final posting before Christmas—and before we take a brief break from posting at all—to hear de Waal say, “Christ is the beginning and the end of the Rule” (p. 34).

This is not a superficial “Jesus is the answer” response to everything; it is a life lived long and deep in Christ.  It is Eugene Peterson’s “long obedience in the same direction.”  It is the journey which (in any given moment) never means anything other than just putting one foot in front of the other one and continuing to walk by faith.

That’s why a first our a hundredth reading of the Rule takes us into the world of details.

It’s too bad we’ve allowed the world to say, “The devil is in the details.”  True.  But so is God!  Benedict knew that, so his Rule is not about an endless list of regulations to keep, but a never-ending experience of the Risen Christ that becomes more sacred as it becomes more specific.

So, the Rule takes into specific thoughts, words, and deeds—into concrete attitudes and actions—because that is where Christ is!

The Rule is Christ, because “for me to live is Christ,” and my life is always lived in the details.

About Steve Harper

Retired seminary professor, who taught for 32 years in the disciplines of Spiritual Formation and Wesley Studies. Author and co-author of 42 books. Also a retired Elder in The Florida Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.
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