Banking vs. Family

There is a bank in our city advertising on a billboard with huge letters beside the face of a pretty lady, “Banking should be about a relationship not about transactions.”  REALLY!  So it doesn’t matter if they make mistakes on my monthly statement, it only matters if they are nice to me.  I don’t go to the bank to have pizza with the tellers.  I want to cash a check.  And I want all the money written on that check.
What fascinates me about this is the billboard is hundred percent correct if we change one word.  “Christianity should be about a relationship not about transactions.” So often we get this reversed.  People are fearful they will go to bed without having asked for forgiveness.  They fear there must be a sinful debit on their account.  Asking for forgiveness is a nightly transaction.
Jesus wanted so much to have us understand God is our Father.  He told us to begin our prayers with “Our Father”.  In Galatians 4 and in Romans 8 Paul assures us we can be adopted into the heavenly family and not only call God Father but we are allowed to use the familiar name Abba which simply means Daddy.  This is all about relationships.  I am not saying we don’t need to ask for forgiveness.  But that is not a transaction.  It is a good daughter or son saying, “Dad I’m sorry I disappointed you.”  This is not complicated.  What is truly fascinating is real Christianity is the only religion in the world that is this simple.  So why was it when I got a degree in Systematic Theology at the seminary it seemed so difficult?