The experience of isolation forced upon us by the battle against the covid19 virus reminds us that our lives get their meaning and value from the relationships in which we live. Relationships vary in intensity. We use terms like deep and shallow, rich and empty, close and distant, vital and dead to describe this variation in intensity, and it is the quality of our relationships that makes life worth living. From the biblical point of view, all life is viewed in relationship with God. The natural world is seen in an on-going relationship with its Creator. Human life varies in its quality depending upon its relationship with God. Life in the kingdom of God is life lived in the truest, deepest, richest, closest and most vital relationship with God. It is called eternal life. At the heart of the Christian message is the understanding that Jesus Christ is the doorway through which we enter into this fullness of life. Jesus used the image of a sheepfold gateway to express this. In John 10, he warned against pseudo-messiahs offering their ways to freedom and fulfillment. He was referring to those would-be messiahs who stirred up campaigns against the Romans, but for us this refers to the tantalizing offer of abundant life through such things as success, acquisition of money and goods, popularity or through the pursuit of pleasure and happiness. Beyond all emphasis on mindfulness, meditation, yoga or self-fulfillment strategies, Christ stands as the doorway to life at its ultimate best. Beyond all human efforts at securing a better life, we have the living Christ to lead us into abundant life. Let’s live it!
- Which relationships do you value most highly, and why?
- How do you understand God to be related to the natural world?
- How would you describe your relationship with Christ?
- What words would you use to describe abundant life?