Thursday, February 10, 2005

A Personal God

To relate to God pre-Christians brought sacrifices to the priest, who would offer them. Jesus had another idea about the person of God and his intentions for us. (God is not a person; he created person-ness, but he wants to be perceived as a person for our sakes, so that we may have a relationship with him; the highest form of relationship we know is the personal one.)

Jesus told us God was our father, and we are to call him abba (which means daddy). To experience this relationship Jesus gave us The Lord's Prayer, which is a type of the way we can best relate to God. We begin with praise (hallowing his name), then petition that

His kingdom come, which indicates our desire to promote the kingdom with all the love we have for God, self, and neighbor (that's everybody); that aspect of love is the nearest thing we can envision to God's kingdom.

His will be done, which means the same thing: in order for his will to be done, we must seek to know his will and to do his will in all and everything that we do. We are to color earth with heaven in all that we do.

Give us our daily bread. God wants us to be aware of our need, to ask and to receive with thanksgiving. Our daily bread is everything, either physical food or spiritual food. Everything that happens to you and me is a form of spiritual food; it comes from God, else from something less.

When we pray and live this prayer, we are fulfilling our calling to become sons and daughters of God.

God is involved in all the nitty-gritty of life: in our quarrels with and love for our spouse or significant other, in the actions and activities of the county commisioners and higher government levels, in every hungry child. These are just some places where God is active and working, and he works through his children, you and me. When we don't do it, something less than God (in us) rushes in to fill the vacuum.

Human life as we know it depends upon our activity in all these areas. Life is good, when God created the world, he said it was very good. He still creates; he creates good. But good things fall-- like Adam did; like we do; like our institutions do. God means to redeem everything, beginning with us, his children, and the rest of the world through us. "Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Colossians 1:27).

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