I’ve been developing a way to explain God’s plan and work in history for quite a few years now. What is it that is so important to God? What is God really all about? Deep, I know. I almost hesitate to write it down because that seems so…final. But, here I am, thinking it’s about time. So, I will. I will offer this theological treatise on God with the caveat that this, like all thoughts, ideas or notions of God, are at best flawed. And, since this is a work in progress, I will attempt to address each one of the four “R’s” of God separately before placing them together in summary. Here is part one.
#1 – Repentance – the changing of mind or course; a return to an original state of relationship; a repristination of the soul. This is the first “r” when considering what is important to God, our relationship with the same and the relationships of all peoples to one another. Repentance is kind of a loaded word. It is quickly attached to religion and theology, and rightfully so, but not limited to such. Repentance does not always have to do with turning from sin or changing ones’ heart towards God. In fact, in the Hebrew texts of the Bible, we could argue that even God “repented” from time to time. The nation of Israel should be grateful for such a change of mind, a return to the original relationship, on God’s part. How many times did the nation whine and complain? How many times did they start worshiping false gods? How many times did their political and spiritual leaders purposefully defy God? There are almost too many to count. And if God had not “repented” of His desire to destroy them, there would be no one left from the descendants of Jacob, including Jesus.
God’s change of mind was important. It defined God’s mercy in a way that helps us relate. After all, is it punishment that leads people to change their mind or their course of action? No. It’s kindness that draws them and us to change their minds and our mind about others and ourselves. God cared for Israel and all of us enough to begin with a personal example of repentance. It isn’t foreign then, that God called Israel to return and repent of their sins, or that God has continues to call ALL of humanity to change our minds, change our course and return to a pristine relationship with God, with others and with the world around us. I believe that is why repentance is the first baby step in restoring our relationship with God. If it was that important to God, then is should be that important to us. It is also the first step to restoring our relationships with others. Think about that for a while. Peace
(to be continued)