Tuesday, May 16, 2006

God in us

"And let us create humankind in our own image...." Even then the Trinity was working out the details of what we all would look like. And some wise Renaissance artist [whose name escapes me at the moment], even portrayed Woman waiting in the wings while Man was made. I have often heard the softly spoken remark that God improved on Their design and after some "retooling" made a new and improved Man and called her Woman. Feminist theologians around the world are nodding in agreement, I can just feel it.

If we could only remember that--more generally speaking--that everytime we see a fellow traveler along the way, that person is in some way a reflection of God, created in Their own image, with Their likeness made into each and everyone of us. This includes the saints and sinners, the saviors and destroyers, those made whole and those made not so whole, at least to the human eye. Some of us see more clearly than others: we see wholeness everywhere and in everyone. Some others for some reason see skin color, or facial shape, or hair texture or color as somehow deficient; or even on a more personal level, they see who other people love or like as wrong or somehow defective.
Regardless of viewpoint, God is in us

Christ came to clear up the issue. Because all of these views, in one way or another is defective and marred by the willfulness of those who choose to use free will in an other than good way. Sometimes people wonder why God bothered with free will in the first place. Like any artist, God loved to create, both animate and inanimate aspects of creation. And like anyone, God wish for Their creation to love Them for giving them life. But They wanted this love to be freely given because They knew that any love that was obligatory or otherwise forced was not real love at all. So, free will was given to humankind in the hope that it would be use to right purpose and in thanksgiving for the life given.

Free will. It's a good thing if used for the purpose it was originally intended. Who is any one of us to determine another's free will? Certainly we have laws and mores that help govern us and treat one another in fairness. That is how we have developed into the societies we have today. Granted, they are not always led with the goodness and fairness we all wish for, but there are those elements within societies that strive for the goodness that free will was intended to produce.

If we in the Anglican Communion and the Episcopal churches of America and Canada could remember that Christ died for us in the hope that we would use our free will in the manner for which it was intended, "all of our stirring would become quiet."*

We in the Church took the same Baptismal Vows, and as Easter people, we renewed those vows and we do so each year to remind us of who we are and what we are here for: to be the witness of Christ in the world and to one another, in spite of disagreements over doctrine or the literal interpretation of Scripture. Christ gave us the two most important commandments that supersede anything that came before:

"You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself."

So, let's do as They commanded. Let us be the people that God will enjoy forever and let us love our neighbor--and everyone is our neighbor--as we ourselves would be loved.


*From the poem by Wendell Berry.

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