“One must face the fact that all the talk about His love for men, and His service being perfect freedom, is not (as one would gladly believe) mere propaganda, but an appalling truth. He really does want to fill the universe with a lot of loathsome little replicas of Himself—creatures whose life, on its miniature scale, will be qualitatively like His own, not because He has absorbed them but because their wills freely conform to His.” ~Screwtape
It’s easy to sense the senior tempter’s frustration in C. S. Lewis’ masterpiece. Screwtape and the other devils in Hell can’t comprehend why in the world God would expend so much energy on loving and caring for all these dispicable humans. Instead of using people and exploiting people and sucking them dry of all energy and life, God nurtures them and provides for them and longs for actual relationship with them. We are God’s children and he wants us to be just like him. But he wants us to make those decisions on our own. He doesn’t “override a human will.” As Screwtape observes about God, “He cannot ravish. He can only woo. For his ignoble idea is to eat the cake and have it; the creatures are to be one with him, but yet themselves; merely to cancel them, or assimilate them, will not serve.” And the devils don’t get it.
In working to conform our wills to our Father’s and in striving to be like him, his perfect son, Jesus, is our example. When we look at Jesus in the flesh, incarnate God, we see what God created when he created us. Or at least we see God’s intent. And we see our own high potential, our high calling.
As a baby in the manger in Bethlehem, Jesus is completely helpless, vulnerable, needy, dependent. A newborn baby is the absolute picture of total dependence. And as all the political and religious and military powers in Judea scheme to murder this innocent child, Jesus, as a baby, is completely dependent on his Father to protect him. What chance does Jesus have against the ruthless King Herod and the chief priests? His young peasant mother and his impoverished and unproven dad from the insignificant town of Nazareth are way overmatched. But we see clearly that the Father provides and protects. He thwarts the enemy’s plans. He rescues his child. He carries the child and his parents to a safe place and then destroys the enemies.
Our calling is to be just as dependent on our Father as Jesus was. The life of the Christ is a beautiful portrait of complete surrender to God, from the manger in Bethlehem and the temple courts in Jerusalem to the garden in Gethsemane and the cross at Golgotha. Total surrender. Complete dependence. Confidence that God will deliver. He will save.
“…we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord.” ~2 Corinthians 3:18
Excellent column by Gene Wojciechowski today asking the same questions I asked last night regarding Roger Clemens telling us he’ll address the steroid and HGH allegations in baseball’s Mitchell Report in “an appropriate way at the appropriate time.” What time could be more appropriate than right now? What way could be more appropriate than a common news conference? Click here to read the column.