The Friend of God

I have been greatly enjoying Angel Studios’ The Chosen, a show depicting (a heavily dramatized/fictionalized version of) the life of Christ.

It has had quite an effect on me. I have tried, on this blog and in my life, to raise myself and others from the prosaic to the mythic. I think on a mythic plane.

But the show has reminded me that the Mythic made Himself accessible on the prosaic level—the kind of everyday companionship that can lead to genuine friendship.

It is one thing when the God of the Universe dies for everyone’s sins. It’s certainly nice, and very dramatic and all. But it’s sort of like hearing about a war hero sacrificing himself on some distant battlefield. You push yourself into being thankful, Thank Them For Their Service, etc. But it’s done, over, in the past. Not much you can do about it either way. It doesn’t invite your participation.

But it’s another thing when He shows some interest in you. Not “mankind” or “the children of men” or “the seed of Adam,” but—you. And then the invitation to—well, to what? “Follow me.” Why? Partly to learn, partly because you have some work to do, and partly because it will save your soul.

No one of these aspects—the personal touch, the miracles, the teaching— is compelling by itself. It’s the combination, the juxtaposition.

What are we to make of a God that refers to mortals as “my friends”?

Have been thinking of late that I have been a true believer, but could be a better friend. Obedience is good—but we do not worship Allah. Our god demands obedience in service of, ultimately, friendship.

The greatest thing Christ modeled for us was how He related to His Father—acknowledging His power, yes, but also his mercy, wisdom, and general good will. Christ asks us to trust Him, and showed us what that looks like in how He trusted the Father.

The first step in becoming a Friend of God is wanting to, and trusting Christ when He says it is possible.