The Father of Mankind

1 Corinthians 8:6

There is one head in a family, one chief in a village, one emperor in a country and one God who rules over heaven and earth. This true God has all wisdom and power. He is full of mercy and loves us as His children.

Alas, we often forget about His grace and blessings and think only of ourselves. This is a dangerous way of life. Even though we are taught about God we sometimes feel far from Him.

A friend of mine left his family in the country and came to Tokyo where he spent several years. He then called all his family to join him. The man’s son, now eight years of age, was seen looking at his face in the mirror every day, and the father wondered why the boy was so interested in staring at himself. The boy replied, “I’m not sure whether you are my true father or not. I feel that you are, but I’m not sure. If you are my true father then I will bear some resemblance to you. So I look at my face in the mirror, and then I look at yours.”

The illustration fits. If we have been far from God, our Father, it is difficult to identify our true Father and to see any likeness to Him. Yet if we take time to think about it we see that we have wisdom, as God has all wisdom; that we have discernment to judge what is right and what is wrong, as God Himself is all-righteous; and that we have a heart with which to love others, as God Himself is full of love.

Human beings were made in the image of God, and we are His children. Moreover, God has so richly blessed us that we cannot tell how great His grace to us has been.

The greatest scholar or scientist finds it impossible to create a cupful of water out of nothing. But God generously gives us the water with which to wash, to drink. No matter how hard the farmer worked, he alone could not produce enough rice. Or what if God did not cause the plants to grow, or withheld the rain? We might complain that the price of rice or wheat is too high or too low, but without the grace of God there would be no rice or wheat to complain about. As one grain of rice or wheat shows, we depend utterly on God’s grace. To someone who strikes a match so that a man can see it is easy to say, “thank you.” Then why should it be so difficult to say “thank You” to the God who by the sun provides light for the whole of the day? How understanding we need to be about such things.

Gunpei Yamamuro, The Common People’s Gospel

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