Do Christians relegate themselves to ‘children of a lesser god’ status? If so, why?
God, as we understands him/her, in the old and new testaments, is the creator, sustainer, and redeemer of the universe. Now let me reiterate. The UNIVERSE. Not just North America, Europe or Antartica. Not just the Milky Way. The Universe. God is the mind of the UNIVERSE!
Then why do we, as Christians, so often minimize her mind, his thoughts, its favor to the 21st century United States of America? Well, I suppose this happens to be the place that some 300 plus million human beings find themselves in this day and age. And 300 million people can’t be wrong, can they?
And that goes for ANY peoples or places.
What make anyone person or people pound their chest and shout, “Me!” or “US!”
Maybe this passage offers a clue…
Mark 35-45 The Message
“35 James and John, Zebedee’s sons, came up to him. “Teacher, we have something we want you to do for us.”
36 “What is it? I’ll see what I can do.”
37 “Arrange it,” they said, “so that we will be awarded the highest places of honor in your glory—one of us at your right, the other at your left.”
38 Jesus said, “You have no idea what you’re asking. Are you capable of drinking the cup I drink, of being baptized in the baptism I’m about to be plunged into?”
39-40 “Sure,” they said. “Why not?”Jesus said, “Come to think of it, you will drink the cup I drink, and be baptized in my baptism. But as to awarding places of honor, that’s not my business. There are other arrangements for that.”
41-45 When the other ten heard of this conversation, they lost their tempers with James and John. Jesus got them together to settle things down. “You’ve observed how godless rulers throw their weight around,” he said, “and when people get a little power how quickly it goes to their heads. It’s not going to be that way with you. Whoever wants to be great must become a servant. Whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. That is what the Son of Man has done: He came to serve, not to be served—and then to give away his life in exchange for many who are held hostage.”
Why try to squeeze GOD into that small box and behave as though he favors anyone over anyone else? Why some over some other places, persons, or peoples? Navel gazing? Narcissism? Patriotism?
I don’t know the answer to that, but I do feel that people often reduce God to their private plaything. That they take her out and play with her when they feel like it. That he answers to their beck and call, and not vice versa.
And God is not just the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the lot of us.
“In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God. God created everything through him, and nothing was created except through him. The Word gave life to everything that was created, and his life brought light to everyone. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.” NLT
Before God even thought/spoke the universe into existence, Christ WAS. And later, “The word became human and made his home among us.”
The entire concept is mind-blowing. That’s because it is the mind of God. Our teeny tiny, imbecilic brains cannot even pretend to begin to understand God. And so. “The word became human and made his home among us.”
The question remains. Why do we reduce God to a lesser status? Why do we not allow God to be God in all her fullness?
Fear? Stupidity? Lack of understanding? Selfishness? Cultural conditioning?
The answer is, possibly, all of the above and so much more.
And that last word of the previous sentence, more. Why, so often, do we settle for so much less? Why not MORE? More… of God. More… of life. More… of love. If we allowed our desire for God to bring us more, instead of less, would it require something of us? Would it, yes, take us out of our comfort zones? Would it demand something in return?
The answer to all of these questions is, again, possibly yes. God does require something of us. God does take us out of our comfort zones. God DOES ask something in return.
As the old saying goes, God came to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable?
“And so dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him.” NLT
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship.” NIV
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” NRSV
“So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.” The Message
The apostle Paul appeals to the church at Rome to respond to God’s love and sacrifice, in Jesus Christ, in this way, to offer our whole person to him. Our whole self. Our total person.
God wants all of us, including our minds. That “mind of the universe” asks our minds of us.
From the Traffic song, “Heaven Is In Your Mind”…
“You ride on the swing in and out of the bars
Capturing moments of life in a jar
Playing with children, acting as stars
Guiding your vision to heaven and heaven is in your mind
Take extra care not to lose what you feel
The apple you’re eating is simple and real
Water the flowers that grow at your heel
Guiding your vision to heaven and heaven is in your mind.”
Grace and peace.