• 28 JANUARY, 2020
The Relationship of God and Man

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself.” (Luke 10:27).

God is described as a being. He is omniscient (all-knowing), and omnipotent (all-powerful). God knows everything. He holds all power and control and is perfectly good. Man is alone created by God and given a lovely world to live in. Also, God wants man to create a loving relationship with Him. The biblical scriptures explain that the relationship between God and Mankind is unique, and it shows why it is proper that people follow spiritual practices and religious acts that deeply connect us with God.

I Am Only Mary, the historical religious fiction written by Thomas Atzberger, delves into the primitive culture during the life of Mary, the mother of Jesus. The book explains the significance of religious services, including sermons and lectures delivered by renowned scholars at the community synagogue. As the community people listens to these sermons with interest, the inspiring words of the pastor create a lasting impact on their lives. One of the powerful and impressive sermons was presented by Azach, a Jewish scholar, during Sabbath worship at Nazareth synagogue. He spoke on how people can attain a sense of gratefulness; there are certain ways to worship the Great God and show our love to Him. This will help to establish a close relationship with God and enable us to live with compassion and humbleness. The father of Mary, Joachim, attended the religious services at the House of Prayers shared with the readers some enlightening practices that create a special relationship with God, allowing us to enjoy God’s blessings.

The sermon delivered by Azach motivates the staunch believers, individually and collectively, to worship God with complete faith, and trust. This implies placing ourselves under the authority of God. When we submit to God, we give our lives to His authority and control and remain submissive and obedient towards God’s commands. To understand God’s command in-depth, we need to study and grasp the knowledge of scriptures. By reading the sacred scriptures, we grow our faith and come to know about God’s truths. Moreover, following them in our daily life provides us with the right guidance on how to live a righteous life, understand the evil practices and learn how to avoid them.

The next thing the devotees should do is to offer prayers privately and in community. While praying in-depth, we should spend a great deal of time, effort, and concentration. Those who consistently pray develop a strong relationship with God. By praying, we learn to acknowledge God as the God of all beings, the Creator of the sun, the moon, the stars, the earth, and all the creatures. Another purpose of praying is to understand God’s loving nature and attributes. When we speak daily with Him through prayers, we come to know that God is sovereign, merciful, gracious, patient, loving, faithful, and forgiving. Through prayers, we submit to God and show our love and respect to God. This is the deepest and the purest way to show gratitude to God for bestowing His great blessings on us. We also thank the Almighty God for the amazing potential and strength He has given us. Acknowledging the miracles and benedictions of God develop more love and devotion towards God.

Individual prayers to God enhance spirituality, through which we learn to use wisdom in our decision-making. Spiritual wisdom provides us with the knowledge of living a meaningful life, consequently helping us find the true path to living a peaceful, harmonious life. With praying, we accept God’s will and feel closer to God.

Through daily prayer, we experience personal miracles such as healing, peace, and forgiveness of God. These are the blessings that strengthen our relationship with God. According to Azach’s sermon, believers should pray to gain God’s mercy and forgiveness for the sins committed in the past.

This book elucidates that the prophets and holy people followed God’s will with humility and compliance. This has been explained in the scriptures how these messengers and prophets followed God’s will and remained obedient towards God’s commands. The scriptures have provided examples of the prophets to let the readers know the nature and role of prophethood. God offered Abraham a special relationship. God gave him a new name and a new life. Abraham was tested by God and found him highly truthful and trustworthy. Therefore, he was blessed and rewarded by God. Joseph also had a special connection with God. Joseph suffered injustice at the hands of his brothers, but he remained faithful to God, so God remained faithful to him and saved his life miraculously. Moses was an orphaned child. According to Egyptian law, he was thrown into the river as a newborn child of Israel. But God watched over him, cared and protected him even in the court of Pharaoh. God protected Moses in all encounters. During these enlightening moments, God spoke to Moses, through which we can observe Moses’s obedience to God. Moses’s humble service to God’s will made him a great human leader and devoted and faithful towards God.

By illustrating the instances of the prophets in the book, the author allows the readers to follow the examples of these holy people to develop a deep love for God and remain subservient to His orders. We are called to submit to God through sacrificing and exhibiting our loving obedience to His commands.

This book is a must-read. I Am Only Mary is available on different online platforms for the readers who have a deep interest in Mary, the mother of Jesus. The book helps the readers know Mary as a fellow Christian, emphasizing her humanity and virtuous living of God’s call. It explains the rituals Mary followed during her childhood to adulthood. The book reveals the elements of Mary’s life and character we have rarely thought of. Since the probable details of Mary’s biography are rarely available to the readers, this little history of the culture of her times brings her close to us.