To be Relieved of God.
It’s not about being relieved of the true God, but of the false God. The God we make up in our minds. It’s about overcoming our distorted and false images of God. For we have made God in our own image. God is angry, cranky, vindictive, ornery, aloof, disgusted, disapproving, critical, judgmental and unloving just like we are. Really?
What is our biggest fear? One of the biggest fears in our life is of God. We think and feel that God is angry with us or disappointed with us and wants to punish us. We’re especially afraid of that Old Testament God that lurks behind Jesus. Jesus we trust, but we’re not so sure about his Father. We secretly wish that God would become more Christian and then we wouldn’t have to live in fear.
It may take a while to grow out of our limited or childlike belief in a mythic God out there who is wanting to punish us for our sin, but it’s worth it. For to be healed in life we must heal our image of God. So Meister Eckhahrt, a 13th century theologian and mystic, prays that he’d be relieved or released or saved from the false images of God that come from himself, or from others, or from any church, pastor, priest or pope.
As Richard Rohr says,
“There is no concept of God that can contain God. Your present notion of God is never God. As Augustine said, “If you comprehend it, it is not God.” We can only come to know God as we let go of our ideas about God, and what is not God, is slowly stripped away.”
It’s sad that some versions of Christianity, knowingly or unknowingly often seems to emphasize the negative characteristics of God. Interesting to think about since love has no opposite!
When will we believe the truth and find healing and release?
God is love. (1 John 4:8)
God’s love endures forever. (Ps. 136)
Nothing can separate us from the love of God. (Rom. 8:38-39)
This is the message I never grow tired of hearing and preaching.