GOOD NEWS BROADCAST
July 10, 2022
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE REFERENCE:
“Seek the Lord, Yahweh Elohim, while He may be found; call on Him while He is near.” (Isaiah 55.6)
Let me use a visual analogy to bring this reflection to mind. Take two magnets and attempt to put them positive to positive or negative to negative. What happens? They repel each other, right? Now “turn” one of them to be the opposite of the other. What happens? They draw near to each other, right? So, we say that “opposites” attract. Then, someone wants to take a natural law and bring it to apply to all sorts of things in order to justify their view of life, such as relationships. Knowing this, even I must be careful about to proceed in trying to describe how this natural law informs our relationship with God. It can also inform our relationships with one another, our neighbor and even our enemies. But, in all instances, we must never pretend that “similar/same” attracts and binds together.
First, let’s reflect on the Creation Story where God declares by the Holy Spirit, “Let us make humanity in our image; so He created them male and female.” God did not say, “Let us make humanity like us; so He created them as gods regardless of their gender.” We are not God, nor are we intended to “play God,” “pretend God” or assume “we are God.” We are, however, intended to be godly in our thoughts, actions and purposes. As Paul warned, “Do not think of yourselves more highly than you ought,” that word of advice can easily apply to this point. Even the psalmist David understood this truth as he sang “What is humanity that You, O God, are mindful of them? You have made them just a little less than the heavenly beings.” Again, humanity is the “opposite” of divinity in that we are not God nor are we intended to be God. As long as humanity desires to adopt this contrary line of thinking that it is, even assuming the negative position of “there is no God,” the two can never be as one.
Second, consider the first commandment of the Decalogue. It says “I AM the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt and delivered you from slavery: you shall have no other gods before me.” Whether a people pursue other avenues of ultimate authority as their God or they choose another intermediary or avatar to represent them before God, it makes no difference. The command is explicit in its purpose to describe that “likes do not attract but repel.” Consider how Jesus, as the man from Nazareth born of Mary, or Jesus, as the Christ of God born of the Spirit, always maintained the proper perspective of right relationship with God. He was of God. He was in God. God was in Him. But, He worshipped God and God alone. He did not worship Himself and even commanded those who desired to worship Him to be reminded that there is only One God. Anything or anyone else elevated to the “God” position is repelled because it is not like God and ultimately is not God.
Third, let’s consider our place before God. We know that Jesus called us to embrace the truth that our faith in Him and in HIM makes us one in spirit and in truth. When we sin, either by commission or omission, we elevate ourselves to the position of “being a god” and in that moment usurp the very throne of God in our lives. God does not attract god. The “same” repels. But, when we recognize that we are not God and approach as those who seize upon that truth, we are connected to God as “opposites” attract. Let’s call that recognition “repentance.” When we repent, we turn away from the decision to “be God in and over our lives” to determine for ourselves who we are, what we do and where we are going. We quite possibly are acting contrary to the very nature and will of God which has been established for our lives. Is there little wonder why we experience such a distance from God? We may say “God is far away” or “I am too far gone for God to redeem me” or worse, “There is no God to redeem me.” But, in that quandry we may do well to consider what we have done to maintain the distance which can foster the rejection of the idea that there is even a God. There is no power or force we can exert to truly push God away. God is always near. We can, however, draw ourselves near to God by turning ourselves around. We can put ourselves into position to be attracted to God and be drawn nearer to Him until we are “as One.”
Fourth, while there are many other points of reference I can make with this reflection, I want to offer this last one for today. Being drawn near to God enhances who we are and what we do as who we are as God has determined. Even in our broken nature, the act of repentance and the embracing of the truth of who we are intended to be, puts us in position to bring glory to God and thus blessing upon ourselves. That is the promise of unity or “One-ness.” Let’s follow Paul’s use of body imagery just for a moment. He taught the Corinthian community of faith that they were like parts of the body. Each were equally part of the whole but they themselves, individually or corporately, were not the whole body. There couldn’t be an “eye” body or a “foot” body, etc. Most importantly, there couldn’t be a “head” body any more than there could be a body with many “heads.” There can be only One and that One is Christ Jesus. We are, by faith, members of the body of Christ and actively serving in equal purpose the body of which we are a part and the work for which the body was intended. Before we seek to “get the other relationships right,” we must get this “ONE” relationship right in our heart, mind, body and spirit. There can be only ONE!
OUR CALL TO PRAYER:
Father, thank You for making us and giving us meaning and purpose. We are set within the full scope of Your creation. We exist because of Your desire to be God full of love, full of hope and full of faith. You have demonstrated Your desire to be God by not only creating us, blessing us with the opportunity to know You but also to redeem us from sins. We are honored by Your desire to bring us back into wholeness and oneness in the unity of the body of Christ. We draw near to You. We feel the attraction by the power of Your Holy Spirit. We respond now confessing who we are and whose we are. Receive us now. We ask this through Jesus our Christ in whose name we live, serve and pray. AMEN.