The Living God
By Dennis S. Hankins
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. (Romans 8:14-15)
Today we ponder anew the God who gives life to all things and to us, his most reluctant of creatures, the breath of life. I say reluctant because from the beginning we regrettably are prone to wander from the God of love. You will recall the great work of God in forming man from the dust of of the earth. “Let us make man in our image,” said God, revealing a conversation within himself because there was no one else with whom to converse. But it was not a conversation like we have on occasion of talking to oneself. This was a conversation involving God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. When God said let us make man in our image, that conversation concluded with Adam formed from the dust of the earth with God bending over him and breathing into him the breath of life and thus Adam became a living soul. That, my friend, is worthy of our deepest reflection.
The apostle Paul ministered in Athens, a city full of idols including an altar with the inscription, ‘to an unknown god.’ Paul’s response to this spiritual confusion is clear and confident:
What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all men life and breath and everything. And he made from one every nation of men to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, in the hope that they might feel after him and find him. Yet he is not far from each one of us, for ‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your poets have said, ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’(Acts 17:23-28)
Paul’s evangelical witness is as relevant today as it was in his own day. We must begin a new and clear conversation with the children of this age about the Living God who gives to all the sons and daughters of Adam life and breath, and that He is not far from each one of us. Our generation needs to hear about the God who shows his mercy in appointing the sun to shine on the just and the unjust, and how his watchful eye is on the sparrow, and that like a shepherd he watches over us. These truths help us understand the worth and destiny of every soul as seen in the light of the indiscriminate love of the Author of life.
The beginning of faith and rebirth for each of us is Christian baptism. It is the turning around point for every repentant follower of Christ. At the Trinitarian invocation of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, we become new sons and daughters of the Father through the Son of his love, and the infusion of the Spirit, the Breath of the Living God.
In this intimate reunion we cry, “Abba! Father!” Amen.
Readings for this Sunday