Editor’s Note: This is the last in a series of posts based on the longer essay, One Life Divine. Unlike the original essay, these individual installments are illustrated. They are as follows:
- Escape To Reality
- Reality is One
- Reality is Intelligent
- The Manifold Appearance of Reality
- A Body You Have Prepared For Me
- Hidden In Plain Sight
- Jesus Is Calling…
- Reconciled To God
“…all things are of God, who has reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation; That is, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself… ” (II Corinthians 5:17-19
With a bit of reflection, it can be seen that our sense of separation, along with our idea of a past that must be justified (or redeemed) and a future that must be secured is a kind of shadowy illusion. If and when we have had enough of this prodigal adventure, we are always free to turn toward the light and leave the shadows behind us. We need not fear that we are unworthy–the Father is always alert for our safe return and always pleased to welcome us home (cf. Luke 15:11-24); the light of the world is always on for us–as is obvious to anyone who has the presence of mind to look for his appearing. Indeed, the scriptures proclaim this truth in a variety of ways:
“Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel,” which means, “God is with us” (Matthew 1:23)
“In him was life, and the life was the light of men . . . the true Light, which lights every man that comes into the world” (John 1:4,9).
And as is so often the case, we find this New Testament truth clearly anticipated in the Psalms:
“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light” (Psalm 36:9).
As indicated above, this is consistent with our understanding of God as the One in whom we live and move and have our being:
“Indeed he is not far from each one of us. . . . as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring’” (Acts 17:27-28).
As such, if we continue to turn away from Him, it is only because we are not yet willing or able to receive the grace that is proffered:
Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe (John 6:32-36).
“If you knew the gift of God . . . you would have asked [me] and [I] would have given you living water . . . Those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life” (John 4:10, 14)
Not everyone, it seems, is willing to trust and rely on that which is universally present. Not everyone, it seems, has the presence of mind to appreciate the gift of God :
The true light, which enlightens everyone . . . was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him (John 1:9-11).
“The light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light” (John 3:19).
To all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God (John 1:12-13).
Let everyone who is thirsty come. Let anyone who wishes take the water of life as a gift. Whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely (Revelation 22:17)
For those who do, the kingdoms of this world become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them;he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life. Those who conquer will inherit these things, and I will be their God and they will be my children (Revelation 21:1-7; cf. 11:15).