Attributes of God

Caldwell 45, a spiral galaxy (Photo: NASA, ESA, J. Lee [California Institute of Technology], and A. Filippenko [University of California – Berkeley]; Processing: Gladys Kober [NASA/Catholic University of America])

The most appreciative stargazers and prophets have made their observations, have been appropriately awed, and have said: “You, God, are alone; there is none beside you. You have created the heaven and the heaven of heavens, with all their hosts; you preserve and control them. By the Sons of God were the universes made. The Creator covers himself with light as with a garment and stretches out the heavens as a curtain.”

The enlightened minds of a great humanity have all recognized and worshiped the Universal Father. For he is the eternal maker and the infinite upholder of all creation. God has given us a supreme mandate, “Be you perfect, even as I am perfect.” To fulfill this mandate, we must have some idea of what constitutes perfection. Understanding the attributes of God is essential if we are to intentionally engage with him; as he conditions, nurtures, and perfects us. As God-knowing persons, we have one supreme ambition. We are to become, within our limited spheres of influence, just as perfect as God is within and throughout his infinite universe of universes.

The tender affection, and parental devotion of God is unmatched in the infinite sense. Although he has given us all we need to express these same qualities with those he has brought into our presence. While God alone is omnipresent, we can also be there for those in our midst, those with whom we fellowship, and those for whom we have been given some amount of responsibility.

In addition to the Divine attribute of omnipresence, the Father is also omniscient and omnipotent. While we are far from all knowing and all powerful, we do have a certain amount of knowledge and power that Our Father can put to benevolent use, subject to our intelligent cooperation. And, he has made provision for us to acquire more, once he has made the determination we are likely to wield it responsibly.

We serve and reside on a strife-torn, confused, and disordered planet. Because of this, it is easy to be misled. But, we also know that among the Divine attributes are the qualities of Truth, Beauty, and Goodness. When our actions are in alignment with our highest conception of these guiding starlike qualities, as informed by the exemplary life and teachings of Jesus, it is unlikely that we will run afoul of the Father’s will.

Jesus said: “This is my command, that you love one another as I have loved you.” Our mission statements should flow directly from this admonition, as articulated by Our Mission Commander. Just about every monotheistic religion that existed, when Jesus walked the planet, had some version of the Golden Rule. With his exemplary life and the command he gave when he said “love one another as I have loved you,” Jesus became, in essence, the Gold Standard for that Golden rule.

Some churches have no apparent aversion to the kind of moral relativism and revisionist history that seemingly supports, in the minds of some, a departure from the Jesusonian Command. Such self-identified Christians should be asked to explain just why Jesus is not taken at his word. When Jesus said ”He who has seen me has seen The Father,” he was leading by clear example. The Way, the Truth, and the Life is simply not compatible with any reckless indifference to this essential Truth.

The superficial prettiness of the well coiffed is not comparable to that beauty emanating from the God within. The beautiful souls that advance a fidelity to supreme values are unrivaled in the material world. That may be lost on some. But the gift of discernment makes the truly faithful unerringly responsive to authentic beauty in all its forms.

When a wise friend said that God wants to be our partner,” I realized the process of perfecting depends upon our wholehearted cooperation, working with our friend and senior partner to become useful in the grand scheme of things. We cannot achieve our highest and best destiny without God. And, he cannot create perfection within us, without our consent.

We may have read in the US Declaration of Independence that “Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” Is this, to some extent, true for the Trinity Government of All Creation? On our tiny planet, as we circle a sun on the back road to Infinity, the ‘consent of the governed,’ has been held in high regard even as Scotus gave his lectures as a bachelor theologian at Oxford in the 1290s. His Ordinatio was transcribed as the Lectura. John Wycliffe, in the preface to his 14th Century bible translation to Middle English, also made it clear that the bible advances “government of, by, and for the people.”

Our Heavenly Father always intended for us to be the true arbiters of our own destiny. This is what all good parents want for their children. Our greatest joy is to watch them reach for their highest and best destiny. Achieving that in life temporal is just the beginning.

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