Posted by Dr. Larry Taylor
For persons seeking to follow Jesus, our lives can be summarized in four words:
- Sonship: The term sounds sexist, but is used only because, in ancient Jewish culture, inheritances passed from father to son, while a daughter shared in the inheritance of her spouse. In Christ, we are all “sons,” in the sense that we all, male and female, Jew and Gentile, share in the glorious inheritance of God. In fact, the scripture teaches that we are HIS inheritance, i.e., that God inherits a blessing in us. Adopted into the family of God, grafted into the tree of life, we are HIS poem, HIS workmanship, HIS work of art, created and redeemed to bring forth the fruit of love on HIS behalf. We are HIS children. We inherit age-abiding life – life that cannot die. We will eventually inherit new physical bodies and dance in a redeemed and transformed universe. Right now, we inherit forgiveness, grace, love, mercy, guidance, peace, acceptance, faith, and courage. Being God’s “son” (there are female “sons” as well as male) means that nothing can ever separate us from HIS love.
- Worship: Because we are so loved, so unconditionally accepted, so inseparately bound, we worship. The word means to express love toward – literally to “kiss toward,” like blowing a kiss to one you love deeply. Worship may be in the form of song, instrumental music, prayer, meditation, prayer, loving service or simple praise, but if it is love for God expressed from the heart, it blesses the Father of Lights. Worship is the natural response to Sonship. Worship is adoration of the Beloved.
- Stewardship: Imagine a child who is inheriting her parents’ beloved property – the beach house where generations have been nourished, the forest filled with wildlife and flowers, for example. If she appreciates not only the material worth, but also the beauty and meaning of the property, she enters into a careful stewardship. She cannot dream of selling it off for a housing project to make a quick buck. She will defend it against destruction and pollution. Perhaps she will open it up to others to enjoy and respect. She is a steward. She recognizes that she did not earn this property; nothing she has done is deserving of it, but it has been entrusted to her care. Without her care, sinister commercialistic forces will destroy it, and, once destroyed, it will be lost to future generations. Jesus created all things. We are stewards appointed by and charged by God to care for the earth, the sky, the sea, the wildlife – all the natural world.
- Fellowship: Our lives with God are to be lives of fellowship, koinonia, connectedness with God and others. We are family. My house is your house; your house is my house. If I have two coats and you have none, one of mine is now yours. When I fix a banquet or throw a party, I do not invite my friends and relatives, but the homeless poor, the least of those who are His sisters and brothers. I learn to listen deeply to the stories of others and value others for who they are, caringly and nonjudgmentally. We laugh, live and play together. We are connected in authentic community. And, I fellowship with God. As I meditate, pray, listen to the rhythms of poetry and nature, lean my head on the figurative chest of the God and feel the heart-throb of Deity, enter and live in the secret place of the Most High, and abide under the shadow of the Almighty, I am experiencing connectedness with the Sacred.
About Dr. Larry TaylorRadical Anabaptist, Jesus Freak, Red Letter Christian, sailor, thinker, spiritual director, life coach, pastor, teacher, chaplain, counselor, writer, husband, father, grandfather, dog-sitter
Posted on April 4, 2017, in Bible, Christianity, Spirituality and tagged charity, Christianity, comfort, faith, fellowship, hope, hospitality, Jesus, joy, love, New Testament, peace, progressive, service, simple life, social justice, thoughtful, truth, USA. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.