This week I got this thought in my head that there are no orphans in the Kingdom of God. It’s like when a kid runs away from their home/parents, it doesn’t make them an orphan; they still have parents. Good parents or bad, the relationship is still there. Now with God, unlike people, we have something that is not subject to change. God is constant in His love and desire for us, so in essence He is the perfect parent**. God is the perfect in-fatigable parent with infinite love. But most of our lives we spend willfully turning our backs on Him, because we would like to try it our way first. (So like a kid!) So we run away from home (think the prodigal son) and ultimately find out that home is not such a bad place to be. Then you begin to understand that the true definition of sin is separation from God, our Home. And, it is we that move, not God. He’s still where He always is: waiting for us. We’re the ones that wonder off. But, at no point are we ever orphans. We’re only a ‘spiritual’ bus ticket away from Home.
That all said, the next day, Tuesday actually, I read this scripture reflection below about sin and how Judas and Peter both were guilty of betrayal. It came as a bit of a surprise, because I never really considered the proposition (just like the younger and older son comparison in the prodigal son). I guess it is because history paints Judas as this evil servant of Satan, and Peter as the saint upon which Christ builds His church. But in essence both abandoned Jesus at the time of his greatest need. (They decide to run away from home, so to speak.) Of course, understanding that Judas’ plan is pre-meditated, while Peter’s is more driven by his own fear (there is that 4-letter word again), the reflection went like this:
Sin doesn’t just spontaneously happen. Sin is a decision on our part. Sometimes it is something that we plan to do, after justifying it to ourselves (Judas) and sometimes it is something we choose in the moment due to fear (like Peter) of selfishness or pride. The good news is that Jesus loved both Judas and Peter the same-even though knowing their choices and short-comings – Jesus’ love for each man was perfect. God didn’t love Judas and Peter differently, it was Judas and Peter that loved God differently. Sin reveals who we love more (God or ourselves) at any given moment and our repentance (or lack thereof) reveals who we love more in the moments that follow.
Pretty heady stuff for the teen-age audience this was written for…my faith in education is now restored.
[**We may not think that God is a perfect parent at times, but that is our will talking. God created us – I think He knows how we were intended to work – He built us. See Mere Christianity, Book 2, and Chapter 3]