— Midweek Meditations:
thoughts, inspiration and encouragement
from ACF community members —
God is our heavenly Father. We are all children of God. We are all God’s family. Together, these declarations are an amazing way to frame our relationship with God and with each other. We look at ourselves as children of God, and each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. This language we use tells us so much about our relationships with Him and each other. It also, no doubt, means something to each of us which is as personal as our relationship with our own parents, and siblings.
This week, I have been thinking about what it means to see myself as a child. Childhood has many positive attributes when applied to our spirituality, here are a few which spring to my mind: naivety, trustingness, a drive to learn, an open-hearted reliance on others, and a readiness (almost a need) to celebrate in our blessings. But I could write a list which is just as long which doesn’t paint spiritual childishness in such a positive light. Children can be selfish, often have narrow horizons, can be careless with others’ feelings and blind to reason. What does it mean for our relationship with God as our parent when we look at ourselves in this light?
When Paul wrote to the Galatians, he developed the idea of being God’s children in the following way:
For all of us, though, childhood was a time exceptionally rich in experience. A time of emotions which were keenly felt; a time when our equilibrium was indeed particularly reliant on those around us. This makes for a time of life that we probably look back on with quite a complicated mix of emotions. For many of us, these emotions are cantered on an unshakable knowledge of belonging to our parents and family. For others, they are a result of less-than-ideal circumstances or even trauma.
Being part of a stable and caring home is the context which Paul develops; a context which is rooted in God’s enduring and unquenchable love for each and every one of us. He uses the idea of childhood to emphasize our relatedness and shared purpose. He paints a picture of a God in whose ‘family home’ is room for all aspects of us, all our childishness, and all our hurt. Here is a place to just be, to grow with and through each other, and to experience our Father tending to our wounds.
But there are other ways to think about being a child…
What does the idea mean to you?
Can you see echoes of your relationship with God in your childhood relationships?
Does your spiritual outlook resemble your childhood attitudes?
The ACF Midweek Meditations
are written by a diverse group of our church members with the intention to seek God’s fingerprints in our lives. They range from somber to humorous and are inspired by all facets of live and faith. Written by ordinary people from all walks of life, they reflect a wide range of Christian backgrounds and spiritualities.
Each week’s text portrays the individual viewpoint of its author. They might not always resonate with everyone, and are not meant to be understood as representing the Anglican Church Freiburg as a whole. Yet, as a church that is aiming to ‘Build a Community of Grace’ we seek to practice learning from and listening to one another.
We pray that these humble ponderings add a small spark of blessing to your week.