John 17:6-19

 Mother's Day is a time to remember our time in our mother's womb. Life was good, our needs were met. It was our Garden of Eden. Suddenly, one day the waters broke and we left the Garden forcefully and we were thrust into a strange world, not of our making. We spend our lives attempting to reconcile and return to an at oneness with Mom.

We also seek an at oneness with God. As progressive Anglicans, we know that God resides within us. We are never pushed away from God. We may decide to turn away but God is always there for us and all people on the Planet Earth-Christian or not. God loves all of God's Creation and has never been estranged from us.

Sadly, the ancient people's did not understand the process of Creation and the Universe. They looked around and interpreted natural events as God punishing them for there sin. They felt they had to placate an angry god with blood sacrifice as they believed all things including illnesses were a result of sin and a punishment from god. Instead of an "at onement" with God as in the Garden of Eden, they felt they had to achieve atonement for sin for which they were guilty. The ancients  as a part of the cultural understanding of the time, saw Jesus' death on the cross as the blood sacrifice that would please God. This idea, while sincerely held is sincerely wrong!!! Jesus did not die for my sins and Jesus did not die for your sins. Jesus died because he was executed by Rome for leading in their minds a political revolt against them.

Atonement, is a doctrine that twists the early idea of "at onement" with God into a violent sacrificial torture for sin came into prominence in the 11th century. It turns God into a celestial child abuser and negates all ideas of a loving God. It is a perversion of Christianity as currently understood in some popular ideas of what it means to be a Christian. It is a framework for faith built upon a concept of guilt and shame. In reality, we are never at risk of abandonment by God. We are always loved and are lovable. God is always at one with us and all people. We need not live in fear or shame.

We had a relationship with our mothers at a human level in the womb. With God, "our God to us relationship" is never shattered by God and we can live in it all our lives. We can turn our back but God does not turn away from us. We do bad and sad things in our lives which is a sign of our incompleteness. With a realization of God's love being with us, we can have courage to work for completeness and healing. God is at one with us.