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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

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As God’s creatures, we are truly adopted children of the One we call Love

As God’s creatures, we are truly adopted children of the One we call Love

Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all believe in only one God. The rest of the world religions believe in many gods, perhaps hundreds or thousands, but Judaism, Christianity, and Islam teach that there is only one God.

Christianity adds a unique element to the belief in one God. We believe that our one God is manifest in three persons. We use the word “Trinity” to describe this belief. If you spell out the word Trinity, tri – that is, three; and unity – that is, one. Drop the “u” and we get Trinity.

The word “Trinity” is not in the Bible. This term became part of our Christian vocabulary about three centuries later. Christians always believed that there was one God in three persons. The early Church did not have a name for what they believed. The word, Trinity, best described this divine reality.

God is beyond our grasp. If we fully understood God, then we would be God because in the very act of fully understanding we would have God under our control. A god under our control is not much of a god. If we understood everything about God, god would be insignificant, unworthy of our worship.

Jesus told us in John’s gospel that truth is often unbearable. Too much information too soon can discourage the most courageous person. We have to grow into wisdom with the grace necessary to overcome any obstacles. Only then can we discover the truth about ourselves: that we are stronger, braver, and more heroic than we ever dreamed possible.

Another way of saying this is that the indwelling Spirit of God is more accessible to us than we give credit. If we give up on our futures too soon, we miss the vast potential of God working as God in us. This is a powerful argument for the sanctity of life.

If we kill off our unborn babies, we lose the great potential of those human beings and our relationship to them. If we insist on capital punishment, we cut short the activity of grace at work in criminals and all who know them. We do the same when we incarcerate rather than seek to rehabilitate, or choose retaliation before negotiation in global matters.

God has work to do in our world globally and in us personally. If we shut down those possibilities by presuming the worst about ourselves and our humanity, how much of God’s redeeming grace would be lost to us?

The way we understand God is so important. If a Deity created the world, established some rules, and then sat back until Judgment Day, then we are all in trouble. However, if God so loves the world that Jesus entered our skin and our everyday life, showed us one clear path through sin and death, and promised to be with us always to the end of time, we have every reason to hope.

All of us have a longing for union with one another and with the world in which we live. That longing is basic to who we are as daughters and sons of God. This longing is not just sentimental. As God’s creatures, we are truly adopted children of the One we call Love.

We know that we are not alone in this world. God is here, present, active, and powerful. If we want to hear a wise voice that will tell us the truth about ourselves, the world, and our journey through the world, that voice is speaking to us right now. We just have to listen.

Although we humans have caused much evil in human history, that does not diminish God’s available goodness. The Spirit of truth will lead us straight to the best this world can offer, if we are prepared to listen and follow.