Friday, September 16, 2016

Firstborn Begottens

If Isaac and Jesus as only begottens are second sons and if the legacy of firstborns (Ishmael and Adam) is that of wandering, where does that leave us, who are wanderers begotten by our Lord?

Precisely here.

That's not much of an answer, but it's the only good one I know. We are, in the vein of Adam and Ishmael, wanderers. We are outcasts. We are somewhere east of Eden with an ache for coming home, and our Father longs for us to do just that. Our Father aches for our homecoming just as much as we do, but there is a part in each of us that isn't sure if home is even possible any more.

But we are, too, in the way of Isaac and Jesus, living sacrifices. We are called to the Mount Moriahs; we are called to the hills of Golgotha. We are called to lay our lives down that we might be lifted up, that He might be lifted up. (And it's worth noting here that both Isaac and Jesus were, indeed, living sacrifices, raised up to life from the grips of death.) We lay down our lives with only the promise that God will raise them up again. 

So are we firstborn begottens?

I think we are. Each of us is a firstborn in that there has never been another like us; we are unique creations in the eyes of God, unique formations by the work of His hands. That's why it's so easy for us to be wanderers, for us to be outcasts, for us to feel a little lost in this world. We've never done this before. We're trying to figure this out. Like Adam, we find ourselves in the garden, but it's almost too much. Our wandering echoes the lostness of our soul as we seek after God in a place where He is both easily found and obscured from our sight by our own shame. It's this tension that we're trying to figure out, and it makes us prone to be wanderers.

And yet, we are also begotten. We are children of the living God, who is our Father. His Spirit, His blood, His life course through us and give us our very being. And this is where we are called to continue our Father's work, the way any good begotten child would. And our Father's work is sacrifice. It is the laying down of our lives. It is the giving of ourselves fully for the greater things of Him. There is tension here, too, in knowing that by living, we may do something good, but by dying, we do a greater thing still, although death seems so unpalatable to most of us.

We are firstborn begottens, unique creations of a living God, our loving Father, wanderers called to mountains, outcasts called to sacrifice. Lost little children longing to come home who yet know the truth that the only way to live there is by dying. 

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