The God of the Living

He is not a God of the dead, but of the living; for all live unto him.

— St. Luke 20:38

Shall God call himself the God of the dead, of those who were alive once, but whom he either could not or would not keep alive? Is that the Godhood, and its relation to those who worship it? “Trust in me, for I took care of your fathers once upon a time, though they are gone now. Worship and obey me, for I will be good to you for threescore years and ten, or thereabouts; and after that, when you are not, and the world goes on all the same without you, I will call myself your God still.” Nay, God changes not. If he has once said to a man, “I am thy God,” and that man has died the death of the Sadducee’s creed, then we have a right to say God is the God of the dead.  

What Godlike relation can the ever-living, life-giving, changeless God hold to creatures who partake not of his life, who have death at the very core of their being? If they are not worth keeping alive, then God’s creating is a poor thing, and he is not so divine as even the poor thoughts of those his dying creatures have been able to imagine him. This that we call death is but a form in the eyes of men. It looks final, an awful cessation, an utter change; it seems not probable that there is anything beyond. But our Lord says, “All live unto him.” With him death is not. The beloved pass from our sight, but they pass not from thine. Thy life sees our life, O Lord. All are present to thee. Thou thinkest about us eternally more than we think about thee. The little life that burns within the body of this death, glows unquenchable in thy true-seeing eyes.

Commentary

by James House

God is a perfectly loving creator.  All things he creates have purpose and life.  He creates not only a plant, but a plant that has life within it - to bring about more plants.  He creates not only birds, but birds that can bring about more birds.  Not only Earth, but an earth full of life that can adapt and change.   He creates not only stars that make light, but that also create copper, iron and other elements from hydrogen and helium; from which more creation can come.  Not only trees, but trees that bring joy to those who behold them.   He not only created human bodies, but he created our souls - endowed with freedom of choice and the ability to co-create the next phases of our own selves.

As George MacDonald wrote, He is the "God of freedom and of joyous hearts".  God knows his creatures and does not take his eye nor ear from them.  

Some further thoughts from our friend George MacDonald:

"[Creation] is an embodied idea growing towards perfection in him who is the one perfect creative Idea, the Father of lights, who suffers himself that he may bring his many sons into the glory which is his own glory."

"By actively willing the will of God, and doing what of it lies to his doing, the man takes the share offered him in his own making, in his own becoming. In willing actively and operatively to be that which he was made in order to be, he becomes creative—so far as a man may. In this kind also he becomes like his Father in heaven."

"the highest creation of which man is capable, is to will the will of the Father. That has in it an element of the purely creative, and then is man likest God. But simply to do what we ought, is an altogether higher, diviner, more potent, more creative thing, than to write the grandest poem, paint the most beautiful picture, carve the mightiest statue, build the most worshiping temple, dream out the most enchanting commotion of melody and harmony. "

We can know that we are God's creation, because he is within all that he creates, and we are all born with a love for creating.  There is nothing that brings each of us the joy and fulfillment of creating some useful, something artistic, something that brings joy, something that will last.

We will indeed always be alive unto God.  We can indeed love him and be loved for eternity.