Return to me with your whole heart
This is typical fare of Lent. It is traditionally thought of as a great time of penance. We reflect upon our sins as humans, and ask forgiveness. We are mortified by the sacrifice Jesus made, and we make amends as we can, and promise to do better.
I consider this to be “old school” thinking in a sense. It is based upon a model of God as vengeful upon those who turn from love and grace offered. It is based upon a human model in reality. It is how we think God should act. Punish the guilty, reward the good. It is our way.
Much is made of the original sin of Adam and Eve. It has led to the unforgivable teaching that we are born in sin. What an awful idea. This suggests of course, that what God created was not in fact good, but so deeply flawed, that with the first two humans, in an idyllic setting, humanity was unable to keep from its evil impulse.
Surely one cannot accept that an omnipotent God can be guilty of such error. But just as surely God could create “perfectly” in the sense of creating the creature to perfectly worship and obey to the nth degree. So is this not error?
I think not. God could create robots, but what would be the point in that? Surely God needs no worship, and endless bowing and scraping must at best become tedious.
I believe God created life to evolve into sentience and with the imprint of divine grace capable of seeking and finding its Creator. This is indeed creation that is GOOD, and one that is, generation by generation, century by century, working its way both individually and collectively toward that perfect unity.
How wonderful is this process. How wonderful to be on this journey of enlightenment. We are in God’s image because we have that imprint of his Spirit within us.
Lent provides us that reminder to be conscious of the journey, to go within with renewed vigor and enthusiasm, as we seek our source, our authenticity, our God.