Archive for May 2020

Knowing our Father in love as love

In the Jesus story, we see the Father loving his Son and the Son loving his Father. We see them no other way. And the way we see them in this love relationship is the way they always are within the eternal circle of love. They are never other than this. Not in time or eternity.

In the Jesus story we also see the Father loving us by giving his Son to us and for us. Through Jesus, the Father freely reaches out in love to bring us home to himself as our Father. And the Father was always in himself what he is towards us in the Jesus story.

Through the Spirit of God’s Son we now gain access to the Father with the Son so that we are brought right inside the Son’s love relationship with the Father. Sharing in the Son’s communion with his Father, we may not be able to solve the doctrinal puzzle of three in one and one in three. Nevertheless, the Father has shown himself to us through the Son and by the Spirit. And now he gathers us into his own Triune communion of love with Jesus by the Spirit. And within this ongoing love relationship the Father continually opens himself to us “telling us things about himself which we could never tell ourselves…and calls for new ways of thinking and speaking about God on our part”
(T. F. Torrance). So we continually know our Father ever more deeply in love as love.

Like Father, like Son

Jesus said, “If you have seen me you have seen the Father”. That was so because Jesus, the Father’s Son, is One in Being with the Father. When Jesus acted his Father acted in and through him. When Jesus spoke his Father spoke in and through him The Father is in the Son and the Son is in the Father. They are One.

This oneness in being is dynamic and relational. When we look at Jesus we see him always relating to his Father. And we see his Father relating to him. Jesus was always talking about his Father as he served his Father. He was always giving himself to accomplish the work his Father gave him to do. And the Father was always giving himself to Jesus, his dearly loved Son.

Jesus baptism is a snapshot of this relating. In that moment, Jesus presented himself to his Father in love as the willing Servant-Son. And the Father responded saying, “you are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased. This personal relating took place in the joy of the Spirit who came on Jesus and remained on him. From that moment, Jesus went on to serve his Father in the Spirit always looking to his Father. His very food was to do the Father’s will.

John says when we looked at Jesus,
“We saw the glory with our own eyes,
     the one-of-a-kind glory,
     like Father, like Son,
Generous inside and out,
     true from start to finish.”
(The Message)

God with a human face

No one has ever seen God or can see him. So, left to ourselves we are always staring at a Nameless and Faceless Divine Being. This is the unknown God who will always be beyond our tiny minds. It is the remote, unknowable Deity who always remains locked up in his own aloofness.

Jesus is God opening himself to us through a human just like us. And so through Jesus, we see God himself with a human face. Now, God is not limited by our inability to know him. He overcomes our weaknesses by communicating himself to us in a lowly human. He has freely moved outside of himself to share in our human life enabling us to share in his own eternal Life and Love. This is the true God who will not be without us and who will not allow us to be without him. For he created us with the purpose of sharing in the Triune communion of love. And with this purpose in view, he came to us in Jesus showing us who he is and what he is like while bringing us home to himself.

The more we come to know God in this lowly way the more wonderful we know him to be. We see that he is a God who infinitely exceeds all our thoughts and words about him, but who reveals himself tenderly and intimately to us with a human face. That loving and lowly God fills us with wonder, love and praise in the Spirit.