Empowered Children 01

Living As Empowered Children of God

Written by Joanna Francois
Illustrated by Micaela Arriola

Rejoice! “We are heirs to a glorious kingdom”. This is the first line to my JC’s school song which we used to sing every Monday morning. I didn’t understand the depth of its meaning till much later (it was sung every Monday morning, after all, imagine many bleary-eyed and slouchy students singing). We have been adopted into the family of God with an astounding inheritance – and what a family it is! As we read in the Gospel of John: “But to those who did accept Him, He gave power to become children of God, to those who believed in His name who were born not from human stock or human desires or human will but from God Himself.” (1 John 12-13). We see that being a child of God goes beyond a simple ‘title’ bestowed upon us from the one on high. Instead – we are carefully fashioned from His hands, made in His image, and crowned children who will inherit all that is their Fathers’.

In St Paul’s letters to the Romans, he lays out our kinship with God: “And if we are children, then we are heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 1:17). Recently, I experienced the passing of loved ones who bestowed upon me their treasured items for me to keep. Heirlooms and inheritances tie family members across generations and the very thought of owning something your great-great-great-grandfather once held narrows time and shrinks it, a very dizzying concept. God adopts us into His family spanning thousands of years and billions of children. And yet, with the attentiveness of an expert artist – He moulds us, shapes us, and loved each of us into being. This relationship we have with the Father can bear a deep trust and sense of security in Him. As our Father knows us completely, so we too are secure in the knowledge that our Creator is with us and for us. Knowing that we are known by a Father who is unshakeable, we are empowered to stand firm as His daughters and sons.

As children of God, we do not shrink from death for that is a victory already won. Jesus comes to us personally to resurrect us from our tombs and the shackles that bind us to the earth are shattered at the mention of His name. “Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 55). Jesus is alive this Easter and wishes for us to be alive as well. We do not need to fear the unknown or the unknowable. We walk the paths that Jesus has carved for us in our time here on earth with the confidence of following in His footsteps. Today, we follow the automated Google Maps voice wherever it asks us to go (turn LEFT in 100m!) and are frustrated when Google Maps leads us ‘the long way around. In the hustle and bustle of life, it’s easy to forget the True North, Jesus. We can consult Him for directions at any time. We might as well since He is the one holding the map! We can make big life decisions and small life decisions in freedom knowing that Jesus is our navigator.

This Easter, let us embrace the Truth. Jesus loves us with an incomparable love. To quote the great poets of the 90s, Savage Garden: “I’ll love you …truly, madly, deeply do”. His love is passionate and deeply affectionate but no love song on earth could cover its depth! This is a love that we can find great confidence in, that allows us to claim our identity as co-heirs with Christ. To be loved by God is to be able to dream for our Church and her future, to bring people into the ever-growing family of God, and to hope firmly in Christ’s return. To forgive one another, to eschew sin, to do small things with great love. God’s love empowers us with an infinite capacity to do good for others and ourselves.

Pope Francis opened the 2019 World Youth Day with these words: “It is the love of the Lord, a daily, discreet and respectful love; a love that is free and freeing, a love that heals and raises up”. God’s love fully respects our choices and He holds out hope for us that we will choose Him. Often when I am anxious, I approach God meekly only after my other options (Youtube or a snack) are exhausted, and I must confront my emotions together with Him. In prayer, God reveals His patience and love for me which lifts self-condemnation from my shoulders. It is His love that helps me do even the smallest things like attending to demanding work emails or getting stage fright when I have to speak in front of a crowd. Though things can get overwhelming, when I reach out to God, His love anchors me. Through battles, storms, and upheavals, being a child of God means I can reach for my Father at any time and He will undoubtedly be there for me, His daughter.

Letting our Father shoulder our burdens is not a sign of weakness but a promise of peace. Call out ‘Abba, Father!’ and do not be surprised when He showers you with the love you desire. You are a Child of God, the Most High!

 

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