Friday, September 2, 2011

Being a child of God

Jesus came not only to save us but also to make us children of God. It is a comforting "status" any human can rightly assume or be. But the danger of limiting God-Man relationship to only father-child dimension” truncates the expanse we are capable of treading as children into the reality of God the father. It is so because we reduce this relationship to our own understanding of a father-child relationship.

In a typical human experience, the father [biological father] does not have the right, capacity or the gift to decide the destiny of his child [heaven or hell] however intimate their relationship may be. In our relationship with God as our father, we must not forget that God the father also is our judge who will decide our eternal destiny.[Mathew 10:28]

In the movie “Chronicles of Narnia” Jesus is portrayed as an untamed lion [Lion of Judah]. Yet we see the children grow into a relationship with the Lion [Jesus] as intimate as that of a child to the father. This father- child relationship is what we must grow into but we will not if we start with an incomplete understanding of who God is.

We often in prayer refer to Jesus as “our Lord”. ‘Lord’ is a greeting the slaves use to address their master. In our relationship with God we must submit our will as if a slave would to his master. [Rom 1:1] Yet the distinguishable difference of this relationship in contrast to the slavery that we know of, is marked by the nature of the master we serve. We have a Master who stoops low to wash our feet. We have a master who gives up his life in the midst of most horrendous cruelty in order to redeem us [his slaves].

Many dimensions of human relationship are present in the God – Man relationship, and not just one.  To name a few: husband - wife [spousal], father - child, mother - child, Teacher - disciple, messenger - sender, master - slave, friend etc.  In order for God-Man relationship to be complete, all these dimensions are to be present. Removing one makes it less than perfect.

The tragedy of today is that the human understanding of father –son relationship itself is less than perfect. The role of a father is reduced to a ‘bridge” for the child to cross over to the other side without having to put in any effort from his side [cake walk]. We assume, we can walk over him [his life, efforts, possession etc] as if over a bridge without any liability or responsibility.

The gift of Salvation too is undermined gravely. We reduce what Jesus accomplished on the cross to a mere bridge to cross over to the other side with no effort from our side. This is far from truth.

I would like to assume that we are the crown of God's creation, yet trapped in a deep hole as result of our own sin and because God loves us so much, He through the sacrifice of His begotten son, lowers to us a rope. If we hold firmly to it [abide in Him] and make progress little by little [according to the spirit], we finally land in His lap where we are destined to be. [Eternal union with God]

We are to strive not only for our own salvation but are called [by the example of the savior, Jesus] to become instrumental in extending this gift to those who are ignorant about it and deprived of it. We are called to become Christ, a living sacrifice holy and acceptable before God, for the salvation of all trapped in the deep hole. [Rom 12:1] [Mat 28:19]

At same time our labour [Mat 9:37] in there is not drudgery because clinging on to the rope [Jesus] what we experience is the foretaste of the ultimate heaven itself. This experience is measured out according to our openness to Him. And it continues to be so in heaven but in a much bigger magnitude. [Mat 25:23]

St. Paul in his letter to Philippians says “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling” [Phil 2:12-13]

Pope Benedict XVI, at recently concluded World youth day told the youth "Dear friends, may no adversity paralyze you. Be afraid neither of the world, nor of the future, nor of your weakness. The Lord has allowed you to live in this moment of history so that, by your faith, His name will continue to resound throughout the world". [Aug 20,2011]