FIRST POSTED ON 15 NOVEMBER 2018.
Shalom Aleichem and welcome to my Shabbat blog!
As we conclude our discussion on the First Day of Creation, let us reflect on the following two questions:
First, Who am I? Because of the Fall of Adam, we are born into sin and darkness, doomed to a life that is separated from God and that will eventually end in physical and eternal or spiritual death. We are formless and empty, just as how Creation was at the very beginning. Here, it is interesting that the Jews start their day at sunset, unlike most of us whose day begins at sunrise. We could almost say that it is God’s way of daily reminding them and us about how we start in sin and darkness, just as our day starts at sunset. However, all is not gloom and doom. The good news is that although we may have started in sin and darkness, it doesn't mean that this defines our end point and true identity. In Christ, God has called us out of darkness into His wonderful light, the same way He called light out of darkness. He, who made light shine out of darkness, made His light shine into our hearts through knowing Christ. And just as He declares light to be good, God declares us good - because we are His children and bear His image.
Next, Where are you? Do we find ourselves in a pit, or even a place where we feel there is no return? If we do, whose voice do we hear? Is it the voice of accusation, shame, guilt and despair? That it is too late and God would never take us back? Or do we hear His voice of truth, tenderly calling for us, seeking us as a shepherd looks for his one lost sheep, a father his lost son? Would God ask where we are if He was not looking for us? Or are we in our comfort zone, thinking that all is well? We may think that we are in a safe place, since our sins are “lesser” than many others around us. God knows where we are, but do we know ourselves? Are we where we ought to be, in the Father's house and in His Son's embrace? Like the prodigal younger son in Jesus’ parable of the two sons, we need to come to the realization and acceptance of where we are (and are not) before we can repent and turn back to where we ought to be - with God. And God will receive us “Just as I am”, wherever we may be coming back from. Otherwise, we will always remain restless wanderers.
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