Personal Property

wanted

If we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. (Romans 14:8)

Talk about your iron-clad contracts. Forget about the “death do us part” clause. This one is definitely not a matter of life or death. When God snags the title, there ain’t no freaking death clause.

Ownership is a major serious deal to God. For him, possession is 100% of the law. It starts with the big stuff. “The world is mine, and all that is in it.” You’d think that’d pretty much cover it. But nooo. God wants to clarify. First the animals: “Every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills.” I guess he forgot about the fish for a moment—but not for long. Here’s the addendum, which covers anything he may have inadvertently spaced out the first time around: “Every living soul belongs to ME!” [Cue maniacal laughter.]

Later, he supposedly “gives” the Jews the Promised Land but then tells them as a kind of afterthought, “The land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.” I guess there was some fine print in that contract. But surface real estate is small potatoes to the Big Guy. He wants the mineral rights too: “The silver is mine and the gold is mine.” Enough? Yeah, right. God wants property rights on the tenants too. “You are mine,” he tells them. Okay, so he owns the people as well. Done yet? Nope. Now he starts putting out triple-dibs, starting with the holy dudes: “The Levites are mine.” Still not enough. He wants special special dibs: “Every firstborn male in Israel, whether man or animal, is mine.” Mine. Mine. Mine. It seems that God puts sticky notes on everything.

Which brings us to the Jesus thing. It seems that Jesus has blown the statute of limitations all to hell. With the new deal there are no restrictions to his spiritual property rights. He owns the whole kit and caboodle forever (and a day). Though this does put the kabosh on any future free agency, overall it mostly works in our favor. God may like to own things, but he doesn’t like to own dead things. Dead things are icky to God; they yuck up everything. That’s one of the reasons he raised Jesus from the dead. Having a dead savior would not only have been a total flop in the salvation department, it would have made Easter into just another church cleanup day. The fact that Jesus is alive today  is due a lot to God’s inexplicable affection for easter egg hunts and that green plastic grass crap.

And since God is the proud owner of a lot full of refurbished humans, he’s not about to let those hard-won pieces of property go bad on him (again). To keep us fresh, he green-bags us in the resurrection of Jesus. This means, even if we die, we never spoil like those humans in that other plastic wrap. God can take us out of the bag anytime he wants and we’re good as new. And if we never go bad on him, he never has to toss us. For anybody who’s ever cleaned out a refrigerator, this is seriously good news.

Being owned by God isn’t so bad after all. You have a reasonable chance of surviving the Big Shakedown and a shot at attending the wedding feast of the Lamb (probably as a salad). The downside is that you can’t cop any attitudes or he may yank your hall pass. That’s just the way it is. Lettuce be thankful.

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