Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Living Here on Planet Earth

Rory asked me a few days ago why God made us.  You know what?   I'm not sure.  Why would an all-powerful, all-consuming God need people?  Or animals or plants or even planets?  He has all of the spiritual realms.  Why does he need the physical?  What makes this place so special, anyway?

I don't think I can answer this completely, but since man was made in God's image, we may be able to understand a little bit.

We need love.  We need an object of our love.  If we don't have another person to love, we tend to have a pet or a plant or something to take care of.  So maybe God needed something to take care of, too.  So he created the earth.  He put plants and animals there.  Then, he created people who were like him, who had a need to take care of things, to take care of the earth he had made.

We need to create.  Almost everyone I know has some sort of creative hobby.  Knitting, or writing, or cooking, or drawing, or building car models, or gardening, or decorating, or something.  Some people are lucky enough for their hobby to be their job.  There's something about making a thing with your hands, or your brain, that fulfills a need in us.  I think we got this need from God.  And I think it is because he is creative that he made us creative also.

We need to communicate.  If they really want to mess with a prisoner, they put him in solitary confinement.  Nobody to talk to.  Nobody to hear.  The voices in your head can drive you crazy, and any kind of torture can seem mild compared to being cut off from contact with other human beings.  The Bible says that God walked and talked with Adam in the garden.  I don't think he spent the whole time telling Adam what to do.  I think he wanted a relationship with him.  I think he enjoyed having someone to talk with.

When Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they broke trust with God.  Did you ever have a friend who betrayed you?  That's kind of what happened.  God asked them to do that one thing, and they took Satan's word over his.  It was a broken relationship.  Did you ever have a friend who's parents had a falling-out with your parents?  It's hard to remain friends with that person, isn't it?  You might not be able to see them again, or at least not as much.  That's what happened to Adam and Eve's children.  The broken relationship continued, generation after generation.  Once in a while, there was someone who would listen and try to repair the relationship, but it didn't tend to carry over to everyone else.

God sent his own son, Jesus, as an emissary to Earth.  He tried one more creation of a human who could span that gap and restore a relationship between humans and God.  He wanted that communication back.  He needed someone who would be loyal to him, rather than listening to the enemy.  Jesus came to show us the way back.  It is hard to imagine God.  We can't see him.  But Jesus was a man.  He could be seen and heard and felt.  Maybe God knew that it would be easier for us to relate to a person like ourselves.

Jesus told us how we could repair that relationship to God.  If we can have a relationship to him, we can have a relationship to God.  And yes, I know that he went back to Heaven almost 2000 years ago, but we can still have a relationship to him through our relationship to other Christians.  As followers of Christ, we have each been given a piece of God's spirit.  And it is that spirit that we relate to when we are in community with each other.  If we try to do it by ourselves, I'm afraid it's like trying to have a relationship while in solitary confinement.  We can't do it.  It's too abstract, and we can't hear anyone talking to us.  We spend so much time bemoaning the fact that God doesn't "speak" to us, but he's talking all the time.  He speaks through all of creation, through his word, and through his church.  We have to make the time to listen.

Why are we here?  We are here because God wanted us.  And he still does.  He told Adam and Eve to "be fruitful and multiply."  He wanted them to be the head of a new family, all of them friends of God.  I don't believe there is a limit to how many people God can have a relationship with at once.  It would be like limiting your family and friends list because there were too many of them.  Who does that?  You might choose not to be friends with someone, but I don't think anyone decides that 25 family members and 100 friends is their limit.  After that, no one else is allowed.  And while you may have a strained relationship with some relatives, isn't there a twinge in there that you'd rather be reconciled, if it were at all possible?

God wants all of us.  Every one.  No matter who we are, or what we've done.  He wants us all back in the family, and has promised to forgive us if only we ask.  He doesn't care whether you call yourself a Catholic or a Baptist or a Methodist or any one of the other countless denominations you could consider yourself a part of.  He just wants to call you his child.  And all you have to do is ask.  Stop listening to the lies, and listen to your creator.  He can always be trusted.  He loves you.  And he will never let you go.

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