. . . God is the creator of the universe. While God is ineffable, God has chosen to live in a loving relationship with humanity. To make that possible God has engaged in self-disclosure through nature, scripture, prophets, and in the incarnation in Jesus of Nazareth. God is transcendent, but also very present. God is not immune to change, including change in the form of growth, pain, and grief. God celebrates with and grieves with humanity, and God answers prayers.
. . . in the life and death of Jesus God directly challenged human violence, allowing his own violent execution and by emersion into the wounds of this world. Jesus modeled the appropriate response to violence: forgiveness. In the resurrection of Jesus the Christ God delivered a message of hope to the world. I believe the Holy Spirit is the manifestation of God in our lives.
. . . God created the whole of humanity and each human being as a relational partner. Humans, being made in the image and likeness of God, are children of God, not as adopted but as natural and genetic children of the Divine. God relates to his children with loving kindness and the compassion only a parent can have for a child from her very own womb. While God has configured humans to yearn for a relationship with God, God does not compel but invites humans to respond to God’s extravagant love with faith-filled trust. Sin is the failure to love God or God’s creation. Sin manifests itself most distinctly in acts of violence but also in the failure of compassion. God does not directly punish sin, but sin ultimately carries its own adverse consequences.
. . . loving kindness, compassion, and forgiveness are the hallmarks of kingdom living and, to the extent we undertake these, we bring about the kingdom in our world.
. . . that while God has envisioned the unity of all believers, God communes with each believer in a language and in a culturally meaningful context, and hence, there is no one single denomination or faith tradition which is favored by God, but each denomination and each religious tradition, to the extent that it seeks to accomplish its divinely inspired purposes of compassion and reconciliation, reflects the genuine will and work of God in the world.
. . . we all leave this world bearing the wounds of our earthy relationships, as did Jesus, but that God has prepared a place of healing for us to enter into. Focus on last things is misguided. Instead, we are called to trust in the Lord that in the end God’s will for each of God’s children will be accomplished.
By John McCauslin
John McCauslin is a member of Central Woodward Christian Church in Troy, Michigan, where he has served as an elder and a Stephen Minister. He is also currently serving as a Regional Elder for the Michigan Region of the Disciples of Christ. He thanks God every day for his grace-filled wife, Anne and the two wonderful young women God has gifted to them as daughters, Alex and Lauren. He earns his living as a lawyer. He enjoys golf, traveling, and most anything Italian.