“Turn your eyes upon Jesus… And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.” A robust theology of creation does not lead to this world-denying conclusion, but rather results in full and joyous participation in creation. Things do not become dimmer, but rather, they become clearer in light of God’s truth concerning creation.
Let’s not be afraid to admit it. We all do it. Without it, we simply have no practical means by which to approach God. What am I referring to? We all put God in a box! We all have to do it or God remains an empty term, void of meaning and unable to guide any sustainable practice. The challenge is to make sure we never close the lid!
Is God furious at the world? Is God’s stance toward the world hostile, filled with bitter enmity? Are we sinners in the hands of an angry God? The Orthodox answer to all three questions is “No.” God does not have a hostile attitude toward the world. We may be hostile toward God, but God is not hostile to us. Instead, God loves us.
The name of God defies conceptualization, but invites relationship. The sacred name allowed Israel to invoke God and establish a personal relationship with God. It allowed them to personally identify the God who chose to be with them and for them. God’s desire for a personal relationship is at the heart of God’s revelation.
“Of course, God loves me; that’s his job.” But apart from the incarnation, why would we assume this to be true? Let’s pretend Jesus was never born. Now, ask yourself, how can you be assured of God’s love? What reasons can you give that suggest you matter to God at all? What evidence exists to make the case for a loving God who is humbly interested in your welfare?