When lovers say this to each other, it’s a relationship of equals. A human being on either side, committing themselves to each other. Making promises, and finding comfort in each other’s commitment.
When we say it to God in some of our Christian songs, it’s a whole different thing. It’s not a relationship of equals at all, and God doesn’t commit to us the same way we commit to him.
We are weak and flawed. We make promises and fail to keep them. The only way we can be faithful is by submitting our life to him. How does that square with bringing God down to our level as a friend we can claim ‘he is mine’?
God said the same thing to Israel when he made them a people.
I will take you to be my people, and I will be your God, and you shall know that I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:7)
This means God will be God but look on you with favour, and you will be people who worship God and live according to his laws. He has granted us permission to call him Father, with all that implies, but never forget that he is Almighty God.
The same applies when we talk today about ‘My Jesus, my Saviour.’ I think sometimes there is far too much familiarity in the way we talk about, and to, Jesus. Yes, he is my Saviour, in that he saves us individually and we come to him on our own, no matter how many people help and encourage us. Yes, he died for me, for each of us, not a job lot.
But he is the Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6). Our relationship with him is subservient, no matter how loving he is. We must never lose that awe, that reverence for who he is.
Ann Marie Thomas is the author of three medieval history books, a surprisingly cheerful poetry collection about her 2010 stroke, and the science fiction series Flight of the Kestrel. Book one, Intruders, is out now. Find out more at www.annmariethomas.me.uk