Maybe It's Too Simple?
So many people have wondered just why we need God? Why is it that for as long as humanity has been gathering in groups, one of the first things that is created is religion? Why does it seem that all humans know that there is something bigger going on, beyond us? And why is it that so many of us reject God, in the midst of this understanding of something bigger going on, beyond us? These are age-old questions. They have been around for as long as humans have been able to have conversations.
I propose that the answer to all of these questions (and so many other questions about God) can be found in one very simple understanding of the nature of God. I say simple because us humans tend to make everything too complicated. With our rules, regulations, expectations and assumptions we pile so much unnecessary stuff on our understanding of God. Combine this with our sin-stained proclivity to always be right, to always be in the know and to always be seen as being right and always being in the know. And you have the fixins’ for a gross misunderstanding of the basic nature of God. A gross misunderstanding of what God is all about and what we are to be all about, in relationship with God.
Now, the nature of God, who God is and what makes God tick, is a very deep and profound conversation. A conversation that goes well beyond the scope of a simple blog like this. Yet, I believe that we can begin to unpack the nature of God in one simple sentence. We can begin to mediate on, contemplate about, perseverate over and totally discombobulate our understanding of the nature of God, in one sentence. This sentence in no way totally describes the vastness of God. Yet, it does lay a foundation for a deeper personal and corporate understanding of God and ourselves.
The nature of who God is, what God desires and what God wills for all of creation, is relationship. Creation is about relationship. Sin and suffering are about broken relationship. Salvation is about a restored relationship, through a personal relationship with Jesus. Forgiveness is about relationship. The indwelling power of the Holy Spirit is about relationship. Worship is about relationship. Fellowship is about relationship. Discipleship is about relationship. Evangelism is about relationship. Compassion is about relationship. And on and on and on.
Yes, it’s simplistic, not very academic and even childlike. Yet, isn’t that the point? Isn’t that the reason why so many people find believing that there is a God so impossible? Because we have made God so very academic, so very out-of-this-world, so very super-natural?
“At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, ‘Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?’ For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, ‘I’m telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you’re not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God’s kingdom.’” (Matthew 18:1-4)
Maybe the problem that many people have with God is that we have made God much too complicated. God created everything in order to be in relationship with everything. We broke that relationship through sin. God made a special relationship with one family, the family of Abraham, the nation of Israel, in order to set an example for everyone, concerning the power and benefit of being in relationship with God. Through this family God came and dwelt among us, lived in relationship with us, as Jesus. Through Jesus, all people everywhere have the exact same opportunity to be saved, through a restored relationship with God. Oh, and all of this good news has been entrusted to all of us to share with the people with whom we are in relationship.