Wednesday, April 26, 2006

humanity's plight

Humankind. How do we understand our humanity and humankind? Identity is the gift we receive from God from the Story of God in Scripture and from the Son of God, who gives new, really renewed meaning to the word human. Of course this humanity is on the one hand great and good: made in the image of God, fearfully and wonderfully made. On the other hand this humanity is flawed: fallen and sinful and therefore broken in true relation to God, to others, to itself and to creation. Both must be taken into account when considering people and humanity at large.

According to Mark Biddle, as Scot McKnight sees it from Biddle's book, Missing the Mark, this is the plight of us humans in our brokeness:
Basic sin: basic mistrust of God
Major manifestations: Pride (straining to be more than we are designed to be) and Sloth (fear to become what we are designed to become).

This is related to what God created us to be in the first place. And what, in Jesus and his atoning work, we can be coming towards and into, again. A relationship that participates in God's dynamic community of love in the trinitarian perichoresis or dance. That God would lift us humans into his very community is astounding. But it is apparent in the reality that God becomes one of us humans, in Jesus. God becoming what we are, so that we can become like him.

I think Mark Biddle's take is true to Scripture and the Story of God found in it from Genesis to Revelation. Sin is at the heart: mistrusting God. And its forms are surely multiple, but could be categorized under pride and fear. Though surely there is alot of interlap as we participate in both running away from and raising our fists towards God.

Jesus calls us back to our real selves as God created us. And bids us come with him to invite others to join in finding themselves- in him and in his community of redeemed humans and in the community of the Trinity. Jesus made the way for us, by becoming one of us, and dying for our sins, and being raised in resurrection for our new life in him. We need to come to God, by simple faith. Acknowledge our brokeness and trust in his grace, his gift to us in Jesus. Then begin to live in this new life, even now. In the community of Jesus' people.

Easy? No. Is this what it's all about? Absolutely. God help us to find the way back to our true selves and beyond that into his Story of true freedom and love, by finding the way back to him, in Jesus. Amen.


business voodoo said...

>>This is related to what God created us to be in the first place<<
didn't god create me to be me? i mean, i appreciate jesus for his teaching, but he clearly taught me to be me, if nothing else. after all, that is what he did ... he was as completely himself, human embodiment of god. aren't i too to be that?

and if so, part of becoming me is separating from god to see what is uniquely me, the 'i am' of this person living on this planet. only then, could i possibly stand equal (or at the right hand, even) of god in the self-power of being what god created me to be -- me.

interesting blog and challenging thoughts ... thank you.

peace & harmony,
'freedom must be exercised to stay in shape!'

Ted Gossard said...

Elaine, Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughts and encouraging words.

My point in this posting is that humanity's plight is remedied only in Jesus. We are not our real selves at birth, not as God created humankind to be. Like Adam and Eve, we sin and are broken in our humanity. So God becomes human to begin a new humanity. We can find ourselves as God created us to be, in Jesus, in the new creation that Jesus has begun. By his life and death and resurrection through the Spirit. To be received by us as a gift. This is a gift of union and communion with God and with others in this community. And extended to all others.

Only then, I believe, can we begin to find our unique identity from God. Not apart from God. But in Jesus, the Son of God.

blessings to you,