It's wonderful to think of God's justice as reconciliation (being forgiven freely and seeing relationship restored without any of your effort required - GRACE), instead of the human definition of justice, which is more retribution (getting what you deserve, having to make payment for what you did wrong, having to earn good payment by doing things right- LAW)!
Julian of Norwich made an interesting statement in her book, The Revelations of Divine Love... She said that in all her talks with God, in all the words she heard from Him, He never once mentioned hell..I found that wonderful and it gives me hope that all will be with God! Some call this ultimate reconciliation, I believe. I love this idea of ultimate reconciliation..it's like the ultimate grace, taking grace to its logical and perfect conclusion! I love how it is all about restored relationship, not performance/payment for sin! It love how it is all about friendship, not being in a 'court of law!' It makes everything a family matter, not a court matter. I love that! At the heart of the universe is not a stern Judge in a courtroom with a gavel but a smiling Daddy by a warm hearth with outstretched arms!
I have heard that the Orthodox Church sees salvation as reconciliation, renewal of relationship, more than a forensic/legal "payment for sin" type of thing, and that their idea of justice is more reconciliation than retribution (which seems to be the main idea of the Western Church..) I really like that idea, and it makes sense to me to think of God in more relational terms rather than legal/courtroom terms. He is my Papa and good Papas forgive their kids without needing a 'payment' first. So wouldn't the Best Papa of all do the same, and much more!? He would go farther and actually bless us even when we did wrong, would give us presents and throw us parties! Sounds just like the father in the prodigal son story!
It gives me such hope to think of all being safe at home with Papa one day, of Jesus bringing to fruition a true reconciliation of Papa with all His confused little ones, who have been wandering around far from home (distanced in their minds only, for God is always with us, how wonderful!), bringing them all safely home to sit on His lap and enjoy parties in His beautiful palace forever!
I know that Christians have many different views on what happens after this life in eternity..I am coming more and more to see that my Papa is such a wonderful Dad that He wouldn't bear to have any of His kids out in the cold, that He wouldn't rest till He had them all safely home in His embrace and care..I truly believe Love Wins, as a recent book of the same title says..and the way Julian of Norwich said that God never spoke to her of hell..it makes me think we have interpreted some things wrong and that there isn't a hell like I was always taught..I love to think that we all go straight into the arms of God forever..after all, Jesus came to save the lost and I believe He is successful in His mission, right down to the last little lamb..I do believe that the good Shepherd will have us all back safely in the fold in the end! I don't have it all worked out in my mind, don't understand every Bible passage (I feel like a little child in my understanding and know I have been and could still be wrong about so many things)..but He really impressed upon me in this last year that He is LOVE and Love never hurts anyone, Love will make everything okay in the end for everyone, Love couldn't bear to have it any other way!
He really is perfect love, wow!
He is Love, and love always forgives, love always embraces, love doesn't hold anything against another, love doesn't judge or point out faults, love doesn't shame or condemn, love doesn't demand payment for wrongs, in fact love sees only the good in people, love doesn't see sin, love sees us all as innocent children and love truly understands why we have done the hurtful things we've done, all because of pain and confusion and lies we've encountered during our lives..love understands and love has infinite compassion for us..love doesn't reject us because of our confusion and pain..love heals our pain, love frees us by giving us the truth, love shows us we are worth something, that we are truly innocent and good because we are made in the image of a good God, love shows us we have a home, a place of belonging, and it's with our Dad, who has always loved us and will never stop doing so, with a love that is not passive but active, a love that goes out and finds us wherever we have wandered and carries us home, just like a little lost lamb on the shoulders of the shepherd!
Love tells me in my heart that everything is going to be okay, that all shall be well, that no matter what, it's okay and it will be ultimately and eternally okay! Love has us all in His arms and He isn't letting go! Love won't drop us or throw us away! Love won't desert us in our hour of need or in our hour of error! Love understands us, Love has compassion on us, Love has nothing but kindness for us, nothing but good, nothing but blessing!
It truly warms my heart to begin to understand Love's idea of justice and how it's been about family love and relationship, not rules and punishments, all along! Love's idea of "justice" is making everything "all right" and setting everything back into alignment, harmony, and good relations..in other words, bringing it all back to being one big happy family again! His way of setting things right is about putting back the broken parts into wholeness, healing the hurts, restoring the ones who've felt they were too far gone to come home again, embracing the lonely, bringing everyone back to being a child again, safe, warm, happy, innocent, loved, accepted, HOME!
This way of seeing our Father is hot steaming coffee first thing in the morning welcoming, sunshine after a rainy day delightful and muffins right out of the oven after a brisk autumn walk satisfying!ReplyDelete
That God can, will, and is working to make all things RIGHT and reconciled is something that gives me hope and peace and joy.
Sparrow, you talked about Love's intention about justice has been about family love and relationship … oh my I think that's it!!! It can seem humanity is far from that, but Abba must be working to achieve that for us.
To look at it the way you wrote about could be. seeing "justice being accomplished" as "all God's creation becoming one loving family in Him".
I appreciate your message of love and hope. And of seeing Papa through new eyes.
CJ, I love the images you give when thinking of the Father in this 'familial, reconciling' way..the steaming coffee, the sunshine after rain, muffins hot from the oven, and autumn walk - yes! I love all those images! I feel that the most wonderful things here on earth (that give us the most wonderful and deeply satisfied feelings way down deep inside) are just little pictures pointing to the most wonderful good feeling to be found in our Dad Himself, don't you think? He is SUCH a LOVE that is just like all those images and feel-good moments wrapped into one and multiplied by infinity! Don't you think so?!ReplyDelete
Sending you lots of joy and peace as we bask in that Love of His..the gospel just keeps getting better and better the more my understanding of it grows..yay!