The God Who Trusts

Madonna and Child by Pompeo Batoni, ca 1742.
Madonna and Child by Pompeo Batoni, ca 1742.

This Christmas Eve, I thought it would be useful to share a simple thought: that God trusts us.

Orthodox Christianity is very explicit about this – God became incarnate and accessible to us through the birth of an infant human child.

Newborns can do nothing for themselves: they are vulnerable and rely totally upon those who love them for protection, for sustenance, and for life itself.

Jesus and the entire plan and hope represented by the Virgin Birth would never have come to fruition if his parents had not cared for him, fed him, educated him and loved him.  If they had failed to do so, nothing else would have saved him, or us.

So, God became vulnerable to us through the birth of Christ.  God trusted us to take care of the babe and so ensure the fulfillment of God’s plan.

In other words, God trusts humanity – for all its flaws and failings – to do the right thing, and to accomplish the mission.  Even more importantly, God believes that you are ultimately good – because a creature that is inherently evil would never be entrusted with God’s child.

Therefore, God knows you are lovable.  God values you.  God believes in you, and is willing to risk everything based on that belief.

God trusts you…

Have a Blessed Christmas.

… And as my fellow North Central College Alum, Bruce Nesmith, said in response to these thoughts: “Maybe in 2015 we can trust our best selves more.

Copyright (c) 2014, Allen Vander Meulen III, all rights reserved.  I’m happy to share my writings with you, as long as proper credit for my authorship is given. (e.g., via a credit that gives my full name and/or provides a link back to this site – or just email me and ask!)

An Expository Reading of Pilate’s Questioning of Jesus

Presented at Sudbury Memorial UCC Church, November 25, 2012
Scripture: John 18:33-37

Prologue…

Today we celebrate “Christ the King” or “The Reign of Christ” Sunday, the last Sunday of the Liturgical year, a time when we ponder the meaning of Christ’s Lordship here on earth, and in our lives.

In exploring this today, we will focus on the topic of Fact vs. Faith.  For us to allow the Son of God to have Lordship over our lives, then Christ must be real and tangible truth to us in some way.  But, what does that mean?  How do faith, fact and truth intersect?  How does the truth of Christ become reality in our lives?

In 1975, James Cone, a well known African American Theologian, got right to the heart of this issue when he wrote that “Jesus is Black.”  People were shocked by this, as you might imagine.  Many rejected the idea, others tried to understand it as a metaphor.  But Cone insisted, saying that his critics didn’t understand, the TRUTH is that for African Americans, Jesus is Black.  He must be, otherwise, Jesus is not talking to those of us who are African Americans, but only to those who are White.  In order for Jesus to speak to us, to really be what he says he is – God with Us – then, for Cone and many others, Jesus must be Black.  Otherwise, Jesus is not someone that Cone can relate to as a member of a race that has been oppressed and marginalized for centuries because of the color of their skin.

In hearing this, our reaction may be “But, that’s not the truth!”

Really?  How can we be sure?  …Does it matter?

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