love the world

News flash from this morning’s adult formation class: God is a spirit and as such is not male or female! Maybe Native Americans who refer to God as Great Spirit and Creator have had the right idea all along. Throughout the Bible (written by male dominated societies) God is referred to as “He.” God was always a “He” in Sunday School and in Church. Some feminists (myself among them at times) have referred to God as She—–or to the Holy Spirit as She. As our priest this morning put it, it was the human aspect of Christ that had gender—-not the God aspect.

A second highlight was that God is love (yes, I heard that in Sunday School as a child)—-and, as love, loves everyone equally. That means God loves you, me, Hitler, Charles Manson, and members of Congress. Equally. That one is a bit hard to swallow. But, if I,  as a Christian, am supposed to love as Christ and God love us, then it follows that I should love everyone equally also. Personally, I am still working on that one,  but I have made slight progress.

So, this “Power Greater than Myself” introduced to me by the 12 Steps has no specific shape, appearance, or gender. Perhaps more importantly, the gift of that power’s love is freely give to anyone and everyone. We as humans, don’t often understand love—-and we almost always attach strings to it. But if we could adopt a bit of this wonderful, indiscriminate “God-like” love into our repertoire of personal characteristics, what a better place this world would be!

The good news (the Gospel) is that each of us is given the gift of God’s love—-even if we are an addict, an alcoholic, a school teacher, a member of Congress, a President, a dictator, a priest, a professor, an infant, an elder, etc.  That love does not have to be earned, and it is unconditional—-no matter what. I think the Gospel’s message also tells me I need to be a conduit for God’s indiscriminate, unconditional love. That’s the part, as I mentioned earlier, I am still working on practicing on a 24/7 basis.

The 12 step message of healing through surrender, accepting God’s help, accepting responsibility for our actions, making reparation when possible and non-hurtful, being aware of and accountable for our actions, maintaining a personal daily relationship with God, and giving God’s healing love to others through service is an excellent recipe for us humans to follow if we want to “become and share”  God’s love, compassion, and forgiveness with others.

So, next time you pray—-realize you are talking to an all powerful “Great Spirit” without shape or gender comprised of incomparable love freely shared with you along with the hope you will “pass it on” to your fellow humans. It is all about love—-receiving it and giving it.  Please comment and share your ideas about God as love——given, received, and passed on to others. May God bless and keep you.

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