For more than two thousand years, the Church has explored the mystery, majesty and magnificence of God. Its experience has given it great confidence - and should inspire confidence in us as well - that it knows a thing or two about God. The Church has knowledge to share with us. However, some in the Church view its knowledge as doctrine to ram down our throats. Beware. Ramming doctrine down our throats against our wills by fiat triggers our gag reflex. We regurgitate such doctrine. We are ready to be persuaded by reason. We are wary of being overcome by force. We expect that the legs of the doctrine that the Church is presenting to us are more than mere authority. Authority is the weakest of bases. We tend to reject a conclusion that has no legs. We expect a solid basis to support the conclusions that the Church wants us to reach. This is just the way rational people are. Early on in the history of mankind, we learned that our faculty of obedience is broken. The debacle of Adam and Eve showed us that it is defective. However, our faculty of rationality works. That is why God built his plan to rescue us from godlessness around our faculty of rationality and not around our faculty of obedience. God is not stupid. He does not risk our salvation on our broken faculty of obedience. He is smarter than that. Our faculty of rationality tells us to flee the sourness of godlessness and seek the sweetness of paradise. God's rescue plan is simple carrot and stick psychology. There is a current of salvation. It is generated by two engines. The sourness of godlessness pushes us to its exit. The sweetness of paradise pulls us to its entrance. There is a potential difference between the sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise. All that was needed to get the current to flow was the placement of a conductor between them. Jesus is the conductor. He is the bridge between the sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise. He is the way, etc. Through His bloody wounds, the new exodus is making its escape led / served by the new Moses, the Church, through the hostile desert of godlessness from slavery under the yoke of Pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land.
The Sourness of Godlessness
Godlessness is sour.
In their mercy, God blunts the sharp edge of godlessness.
The Sweetness of Paradise
Paradise is sweet.
What makes paradise sweet? Paradise is the home of an immortal, omnipotent and benevolent God to whom each of us is the apple of their eye, who loves each of us individually and who desire to shower us with gift after gift. 'Where do I sign up'? ‘How do I enlist?’ ‘How do I get citizenship in the kingdom of the God who clung to His love for us as our Cross clung mercilessly to Him?”
Wickedly, we impaled the sweet bait on the sharp hook. The Son of God suffered and died on the sharp hook while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable. Yet, the most Holy Trinity used our wickedness to highlight their goodness. Despite the sin of sins we committed against the Son of God, the most Holy Trinity cast the sweet bait into the cesspools of godlessness to fish for the children of Adam and Eve. They continue to do this for us. The Son of God reclaimed His life and continues to love us nonetheless. He and His love for us are indestructible. By impaling the Son of God on the sharp hook of salvation while He was human, alive, tender and vulnerable, a perfect opportunity was created for Him to show us - an apocalypse - the indestructibility of Himself and His love for us despite our wickedness.
The indestructibility of the Son of God and His love for us despite our best efforts to destroy Him and His love for us make Paradise sweet.
Some of the children of Adam and Eve have taken the bait hook, line and sinker.
At Calvary, God disclosed to us the sweetness of paradise.
At Calvary, God showed the bees the honey.
The Potential Difference
A potential difference exists between the sourness of godlessness and the sweetness of paradise.
We live in a hybrid world - a world of godlessness and a world of God. Our world has cesspools of sin and oasis of grace. The oasis of grace are the jewels set against the background of the hostile desert of godlessness. Our job is to make our escape through the hostile desert of godlessness around the cesspools of sin through the hostile desert of godlessness from oasis of grace to oasis of grace from slavery under the yoke of pharaoh to freedom with God and their holy family in the promised land. Only by making our way on the escape route can we be sure that we are heading in the right direction and will safely arrive at our destination.
The Current of Salvation
To induce current to flow from godlessness to paradise, all that was needed was a conductor between the two.
The Conductor of Salvation
The most Holy Trinity put the Son of God in place between the two worlds so the current of salvation (Luke 15:11-32) would flow. The game is rigged. The playing surface is tilted. The bias is toward paradise and away from godlessness.
The Current of Salvation
To influence us to make the right decision, that is, to return to our home in paradise and to stay there, God established the current of salvation. It is powered by twin engines. One of the two engines of salvation is the sourness of godlessness. It pushes the children of Adam and Eve out of godlessness. The other of the two engines of salvation is the sweetness of paradise. It pulls the children of Adam and Eve into paradise. The twin engines produce a current that flows through the Son of God (Luke 15:11-32) and carries us from godlessness to paradise.
Defying the Current of Salvation
Some of us swim against the tide. Like ungrateful dogs, some of us bites the hand that feed us.