"I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep" (John 10:14-15 NASB)
When I first read The Shack, I had a hard time with some of the imagery the author used, but I was intrigued by the account of the main character's encounter with God. I came away with one overwhelming question: Could anyone really know God that deeply, that personally, that intimately? Was that even remotely possible?
John 10:14-15 seems to answer with a resounding "Yes!" We can be known by God and know Him... just as the Father knows Jesus and Jesus knows the Father. And just how close is that relationship? Later on in the chapter, we get a pretty clear answer:
"I and the Father are one." (John 10:30 NASB)
This is one of those passages that seems a little too good to be true!
Here in the US we're celebrating inauguration day. Security is tight in Washington DC. There are severe restrictions on what folks can bring with them -- no back packs, water bottles, etc. There are also lots of barricades to control where they can and cannot go. As I write this, I'm looking at images of thousands and thousands of folks who have traveled untold miles to endure extreme cold... and the vast majority of them won't even catch a glimpse of (soon-to-be) President Barack Obama. Folks will be forced to keep their distance. Some will be disappointed, I'm sure... but most just wanted to be close, just to say that they were there.
And yet... the God of the universe invites everyone to come to Him... and the only barricades in the way are those of our own making. He knows that we will be carrying some things with us, but that doesn't matter to Him. He'll deal with it soon enough. And He invites us not only to come and see Him, but to come and know Him!