What makes the God I worship different? What is this whisper that beckons my heart and captures my imagination?
Since the beginning of time, people from all nations have searched for the divine. For many, the fullness of this understanding comes in the divinity of self and all of life becomes the seeking of this ultimate reality.
My mind has been consumed with Hindu thought as I have been studying the Bhagavad Gita and different forms of yoga that bring about the release from the cycles of death and rebirth. My professor encouraged us to search these things in groups of two or more, where Christ leads and guides us. She expects us to sense the resonances of Christ in all worship practices and yet also discern how Christian worship is different.
The fresh wind that has come in my understanding and worship of Christ through this process is indescribable. Truths that have been stale for years are taking deep breaths and exhaling cleansing revelation to my soul.
We have relationship with the deity. He made his relationship with us the closest form of identity to him without being him – we are his children; we carry his DNA but we are not the deity. He hears us when we speak; he has compassion on us and feels our pain; he responds to us because he loves us. If we are the divine and there is no separation, there is no relationship and without relationship there is no love. Yet we have understood the very definition of Love because we know where we end and where God begins in relationship. We do not claim to be divine or to be the creator but as created beings we reflect Christ, who is the fullness of the deity, in us.
This God we worship is a God who is devoted and a God who sacrifices. We do not sacrifice to God so that we may earn the right to his blessings or to receive his power. But he has sacrificed himself to us – and given us his inheritance freely. There is no sacrifice we can make that would compel him to bless us. It was first his decision to give us free gifts that we could not earn – even the simple gift of life.
We often hear of a people who sacrifice to God and a people who are devoted to God. But what about a God who sacrifices? What about a God who is the most loyal and devoted companion? Truly it is not our sacrifice that defines our worship but God’s. Our devotion is merely a response to a greater devotion and loyalty that God displays toward us.
Human beings were made for connection, not only to others and not only to the self. But we were created and fashioned to connect to the Supreme Being and Creator of our most delicate intricacies. We were made to be outrageously loved as children born of God. We are not reborn into another attempt to achieve the ultimate reality of the self as divine, but we are reborn into a family with connection, belonging and love.
Though this world is full of suffering and pain, we have seen glimpses of hope. And we know true joy and peace as Christ sets us free, releases us from darkness, and restores all things. He is our ultimate reality and He is our hope for glory.