I missed an opportunity in this Sunday’s sermon to make a joke or two about us being childish but in retrospect I don’t think the sermon was diminished by the lack. It is a bit odd for us to think about ourselves as children though, at least once we make it into adulthood. Particularly when we reach the stage of adulthood where our parents are no longer with us.
Because we don’t think of ourselves as children I sometimes wonder if Paul could have used a better, or at least more effective, metaphor for our relationship with God and then I realize (again) it isn’t a metaphor. We are described as children of God because that is what we are, not associates of God who are as close as children would be if we were children. The image of God as parent–by turns demonstrating fatherliness and motherliness–is not because we are “like” children of God but because we are children of God.
So how do we know? How do we know we are children of God? We don’t get a birth certificate the same way we can with a human birth. There are no pictures of us all newly born looking on our mother’s breast or in our father’s arms. But, if we don’t have a birth certificate or pictures how do we know who our human parents are?
The sermon this week goes through some of the ways we know who we are and looks at the parallels in our relationship with God. I think I got them pretty close, let me know if you think otherwise or if you agree or you just want to chat.