Yesterday I was thinking about the term “Son of God.” That term can easily seem uncomfortably problematic—too Christian, too sexist. Or it can just wear smooth from constant use.
Yet its real intent, I believe, is masterful, and extremely transformative. The most obvious part of this is that it raises us up to the level of Jesus. Just as he has traditionally been seen as the Son of God, now we are, too. But I was thinking about it yesterday from a very different standpoint, from its analogy to a human father and a human family. That analogy suggests the following:
God is not some remote figure I hope to know someday in the future. Rather, He’s Dad (or Mom, or both), the parent I’ve known since I was born. I may have forgotten this, but in truth there is nothing in all the world as familiar to me as my Father.
Similar to the role of my earthly father, God is the Father Who brought me into being. Without Him fathering me, I wouldn’t exist.
God is where I get my “genes” (my basic nature) from. My real (as opposed to my earthly) temperament, character, and abilities are all inherited from my Father.
He’s also where I get my real name from. His Name is my real name.
Heaven is not some place I hope to inhabit one day. Rather, it’s “home.” It’s where I was born, it’s where I come from, and it’s where I belong. It is where I will always feel most comfortable, most safe, and most fully myself.
Indeed, that home is where I spent my “formative years”—the time when my fundamental character was laid down (before the separation occurred and the physical universe was born). I will never shake loose of the (wonderful) things that were instilled in me back then.
Further, the family in this home is actually my “family of origin.” At root, all my issues are really with them (even though they were actually the perfect family).
Finally, I have an inheritance coming from God. It has been held in trust, waiting for when I come of age, when I reach the appropriate maturity.
To let all this sink in, try saying the following to yourself:
I am the Son of God. God is Dad.
I am the Son of God. He is where my “genes” come from.
I am the Son of God. My real name is His Name.
I am the Son of God. Heaven is “home.”
I am the Son of God. Heaven is where I spent my “formative years.”
I am the Son of God. The heavenly family is my “family of origin.”
I am the Son of God. I have an inheritance coming from God.
Now further realize that none of these things—parent, home, family—apply to this world. To let that sink in, repeat the following:
I am not really the son of [name of earthly parents]. They are my brothers. I am the Son of God.
My childhood home was not my real home. My home is God’s.
My earthly family is only a small part of my real family. My family is the family of God.
Finally, to cap it all off, pause a moment, close your eyes, and imagine God saying to you, “You are My Son, and all I have is yours” (based on W-FL.In.6:3).
Now we hopefully have some understanding of why Jesus used that term. It takes our sense of identity, usually so rooted in earthly parents, home, and family, and roots it in God. This term, quite simply, is nothing less than a whole new way of thinking about who we are.