Sunday, February 22, 2015

Lenten Reflections 2015: Reflection Three - Being in a relationship with God, what does that mean (part 2)?

Today I revive this blog as I work on a goal for this year's Lenten discipline to spend some quality time thinking about God and composing some reflections or meditations about living in this 21st Century, post modern and post Christian world. 

At first I was going to do this via Facebook, but it is too much for that medium.  Instead, I'll share here and make references to Cotton Country Anglican after posts are published.

Talking openly about God and how one lives into a meaningful relationship with him and then lives for God in this world will be the world that these reflections will explore.  I cannot walk this path enough.  I have come to realize that it is not a Lenten walk only, it is a life walk.  It is actually more than a walk, it is a journey of faith whose end is the Christ's cross, a place where the earth is always level (unlike the path leading to it) and the only place from which we can move to His open tomb and the hope of resurrection and new and eternal life with God.

I'm going to add all of the reflections so far written, three to date, but for now, I begin with number tree.  I hope that something shared here will be useful to those visiting this place.  I pray that you enjoy a blessed and holy Lent.

Lenten Reflections 2015:

Reflection Three – Being in a relationship with God, what does that mean (part 2)?



oday I am further unpacking the idea that I am in a relationship with God and exactly what that means to me and what it requires of me.  Make no mistake that I think being in a relationship with God requires something of (from) me.  In truth, I think that quite a lot is required of me.  But why you might ask?  Why can’t it be as simple as the statement that God loves me?  Why can’t my having a relationship with God be as simple as it being His gift, freely given and with no strings attached?  Two words point the way to the answer I think and those two words are free will.  But alas, the good news is that as Jesus lovingly said, My yoke is light!

My last reflection ended with some questions about “godliness”: What is it? How do I recognize it (what are its marks)? How might one become godly?  Another question occurs to me: why should I care about being godly?

It is the last question posed where I’ll begin and this will be something of a detour, but a necessary detour.  It is necessary because I cannot help but think that understanding godliness, what it means to be “godlike” or godly, is at the core of what it means to be in the relationship with God that He desires.  

Scripture reveals that God created man so that He could love us and so that we would love Him in return.  He created us for relationship, but not just a casual one.  God created us “in His image” and to be like Him.  In the beginning, in the early days of “the garden”, the process of learning to become “god like” probably was going to be something akin to what we describe as “on the job training.”  The new creation, Adam and his companion, Eve, no doubt interacted with God without much to filter their exchanges.  But then came “the fall” and separation from God.  The free association, the opportunity to observe God’s nature first hand, to learn directly from the Creator was no more.  The path to godliness was no longer to be smooth and straight, it would now have twists, turns, bumps and even some dead ends.  But it was still a path along which each of us would have to walk on our journey to understand, to know, our Creator; what it means to be “godlike” and what it means to be “in relationship” with God.  Our journey to God and the relationship that He envisions is one that consumes our earthly lives.  It is a journey marked by transformation, transformation into more “godlike beings”, what C. S. Lewis describes as becoming “little Christ’s” when referring to Christians and Christianity.

  So back to where I started: what are the marks of godliness and how do I get there? Consider this written by William Law in A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, the key is total devotion to God, in action and attitude.  This means that one no longer lives to his own will or the way of this world, but solely submitting to the will of God.  The godly man considers God in everything, serves God in everything and does everything to please God and always in ways that bring glory to God.  Pax et bonum!