That to comprehend what it means to live in a real world as God’s creations, with God and with each other, is to see that all of us are interconnected, interdependent, responsible for each other’s welfare and safety, responsible for our shared living space, our planet.
That God is involved in our lives, and always has been; that he has intervened throughout history, both indirectly and at times directly; that he has communicated through prophets, visions and dreams, inspired speakers and writers, and anointed leaders; that his fullest and paramount intervention was becoming one of us, a human being, whom we know as Jesus Christ. God’s ultimate intervention was Jesus’ death and resurrection to new life which overcame the power of sin and death for all of us. He did this because He loves us, desires our best, and wants to be in relationship with us.
Photo: painting of the face of Christ by Paul Welch, 2009
That the mystery of evil is real and that it is always destructive of life and of fruitfulness, and that the human condition is that we all suffer from the effects of evil, sometimes as willing accomplices, sometimes as unwitting pawns. But that evil never has the last word, but that God is constantly at work to redeem, to heal, to restore, and to forgive.
That there are such a things as goodness, truth, justice, and beauty that find their ultimate source, not from culture or custom, but in God who not only exemplifies them, but requires us to live accordingly, even though our apprehension of them is imperfect and limited (by things like culture).
That we were meant to be in harmony, in communion, with each other, and with God, and to find our greatest fulfillment, joy, and meaning in relationships: with each other in families, communities, and cultures, and with God, the Source of all relationships.
That perhaps the most profound word in human language is the word “with” because it describes the purpose for all of Creation and the goal to which God is in the process of guiding the world, and also describes the final outcome: that God will be with his people, and his people will be together, with him.
That God, the Creator of everything, the Source of all of life, made a real, physical world, and from the beginning, blessed the world – and us in it, so that we could flourish: live life in its richest and fullest sense in our relationships with others and with God.
Painting with Light Modern Christian Art