I am now becoming much more aware of my age, and with that base of data, ever more confident in my reflections. Of late, those reflections have been focused most often on the lessened impact of Christianity, to which I have given most of my life. Our nation is reeling under a failed economy, its wisdom unraveled, with warfare as its response when others fall out of step with its greedy prescription for living.
All of my life I have held to the personal notion that God was in control, and that our life circumstances are rooted in an act of love, contrived solely to keep our hearts and minds focused on our Father. I still hold fast to that notion.
However, we have a free will, and can chose to ignore those circumstantial messages to our peril, both individually and nationally. When individuals and eventually their nations choose evil, or do nothing to remedy the evils of others, there are certain predictable outcomes. We are aptly forewarned by the atrocities documented in the annals of nations that have met with demise. As well, we are not known as a benevolent species, when left to our own devices, the message behind Golding’s, Lord of the Flies.
I still believe, as much now as when I was a child, that we have a “Heavenly Father” who created us in His image; not physically (as was said by another, “God created man in His own image and we returned the favor.”) but spiritually. We are thus spiritual beings on a human journey and being human has its challenges. Not only do we falsely view God as being like us, we arrogantly believe that this entire saga is about us; when in reality, we were created as a means of demonstration of the power of love, to other spiritual beings in a Kingdom that existed far before our own creation.
We are the benefactors of God’s love and His grace, though not the primary reason for His existence; otherwise the references by both Jesus and the Prophets, regarding another Kingdom, would be unnecessary.
God foreknew that a being created with free will, on a globe shared by fallen spirits, would need a remedy for its redemption. Before the foundation of the Earth, God had a plan to demonstrate His love in such a convincing way that not even a fool could miss, if he or she so chose to embrace that love. He would come to Earth, dwell among us, fully demonstrating righteousness, and still yet bear the grueling consequences of our failures. He would surface our darkness by His very presence, then willfully embrace death, even crucifixion, compounded by unnecessary beatings and humiliation. He would be our sacrifice, even our remedy.
Yes, the requirement of a sacrifice was not to appease the wrath of some angry God; that is how religion interprets the story. The ritual of sacrifice was solely designed that we would not miss the moment, when the God who created us would become one of us, share life with us, though responding differently to its circumstances . His demonstration of righteousness, so uncommon as a trait among humans, would drive humanity and the foes that work against us, into frenzy, surfacing something dormant within which few would admit.
We are good at religion but slow at revelation. We delivered on a sacrifice but failed to grasp the full measure of its purpose. Religious ritual was simply to reinforce a time when a lamb would be offered that would be God Himself, the ultimate act of love. He would become the lamb that was slain, a love so amazing that it would drive the calendars for centuries; never has there been such a man, as this man Jesus…God become flesh.
You can know Him…and you don’t want to miss that!