Is God all-powerful? Amos Smith, in his book Healing the Divide; Recovering Christianity’s Mystic Roots, presents an interesting God-human paradox. Following is a quote from his book. I found this intriguing. What do you think?
“Life is about symbiosis – give and take. I learn from you; you learn from me. Teaching is a two-way street. Both are teachers – both students. When it comes to Jesus, some don’t want to admit this. Some prefer clearly defined authority – a chain of command. Everything tidier that way. There’s less room for chaos. There’s also less room for mystery. The Quakers have a saying, “Don’t walk in front of me, I may not follow. Don’t walk behind me, I may not lead. Walk beside me and be my friend.” This is the power of God’s incarnation in Jesus. God chose to walk beside us. We have a part to play in our own transformation and healing. God incarnate grants power with, not power over. Jesus said “I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I call you friends” (John 15:158).
Jesus’ life and teaching marks a shift from God’s power over to God’s power with, from inaccessible to incarnate, from God of fear to God of love, from remote God to intimate God (Jesus used the intimate Hebrew word ‘Abba’ (Daddy) when referring to God, shocking his listeners).
God doesn’t have hands. Only we have hands. If we refuse to use our hands as conduits of the Devine will, God’s hands are tied, so to speak. Not only do we rely on God, but God relies on us. Just as Jesus counted on his human disciples to spread the Gospel, God counts on us to be God’s hands and feet in the world – to be the body of Christ.
Without us, God’s work won’t get done in the world. God doesn’t twist our arms in the process but asks for our consent. God is about responsive love, not power over. Jesus teaches by example and by compassion, not by coercion and fear. We’re invited, not forced, to incarnate the word of God.”
Definitely something to think about. There will be more to come on this theological exploration.
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