In Search Of

Grace and Peace to you as we people of faith, continue in this season of Resurrection and Hope, thankful for the Gift from God, Jesus Christ Our Risen Savior and Lord, Amen.

 What is God to you? What brings you closer to the Divine Creator?

(Pause and then wait for a response. If none, jokingly tease out an answer from the congregation by saying, No seriously this is participation here. Repeat question and see what kind of answers are given)

Here’s another thought:

Does God remain unknown to you?

(Pause, for responses)

That perhaps is a question that can’t be answered in this moment, because maybe as people of faith we are still struggling

To answer this honestly

If you were here a month or so ago,

these pews were almost filled with many people

who were able to answer that

Because for them, God is unknown

Or perhaps the question they would offer is

Where is God

And because of knowing that their hearts were heavy

And fragile

Like Paul among these Athenians

We as people of faith are called to extend hospitality

Because we have the understanding

That we are rooted and created from God

That we live and move and have our being

Grounded in God

And we also empathize

Because in moments of vulnerability

We too, felt abandoned by God

Especially along this journey called life.

Perhaps more people would feel at ease

If in our bulletins there was a disclaimer

That stated this:

 “This sermon offered information based in part on the theological

And well, guesswork

The preacher purpose is to attempt to suggest something

Because quite frankly they too, are searching for answers

To the mysteries of God that we as a body of Christ, will examine

(pause)

A friend of mine however, has a very limited, different view

Of Humanity’s questing for God.

In a Facebook post this week she made a condemning statement

That anyone who questioned the existence or doubts God

Or wandered off onto the beaten path for God

Was foolish!

Perhaps she missed the point of Paul’s mini homily

In our Acts text this morning.

Perhaps in her Pentecostal upbringing

She has not had the opportunity to read Luther who says

In the Third Article of the Apostle’s Creed

“ I believe that I cannot by my own reason

or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord,

 or come to Him”

More foolishness, right?

Perhaps it would be shocking for her to know

That we as sisters and brothers in Christ

Are just as confused

As we strive for an end of the separation from the Divine

For all of our collective, global intelligence and philosophical wisdom..

Humanity’s soul still struggles for fulfillment and an end to an aching hunger

Even while God’s Word is clearly carved out in Creation

As John 14:18 says that “I will not leave you orphaned.”

But foolishly, childishly we still continue to dig our hands

into the sands

Going In Search Of….

God

(pause)

Surprisingly Paul exudes the example of hospitality here in Athens

As he teaches the Athenians gathered before him, curious, hungry

Of this “unknown God’s” open door policy

Because as God, Our Creator cast us out

God’s Door remains wide open

“So that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him

But God, that’s a cruel game of hide and go seek!

No wonder the Athenians filled every nook and cranny with representations

Of Who God was for them

There were idols created for gaining desire, and shunning away strife

Objects dedicated for connection in Dreams and attracting Affection

Objects worshipped to drive out Deceit and Death

Deities uplifted representing the Moon and the Heavens, the Seas and the Earth

For Prosperity and for the Home

What idols do we see in our own lives today?

What seems to cling to our souls?

When we too, as a part of this global community

Run to when we are confused, sacred or seeking comfort?

There are those within humanity

That are huddled closely to forts that boast

Mighty weapons of war and weapons of protection

There are those within humanity

Who cannot bear to tear themselves away

And finding them immersed in the mesmerizing, bluish glow

Of the shrine of 24/7 technology

There are fragments of humanity who continually

Find streaming in and out of the temples

Where they are able to consume to their hearts delight

Filling their coffers and their closets

Yet,

In the stillness when we are besides ourselves

There hangs above the abyss a longing

Continually overflowing

An barrenness that seemingly will never be blessed

(pause)

So our lips continue to be parched

Our throats persist with dryness

Our bodies weary with the journey

But we miss the obscure little sign along the side of the road

Leading to a small place of rest and respite

Where “they would search for God

And perhaps grope for him-

Though indeed He is not far from each of us”

And just as perhaps that isolated, dusty altar

That took up space somewhere in an undescriptive building in Athens

“To an unknown God,”

So too, do our sacred places of community worship

Our churches become ghost towns

(pause)

“I see how extremely religious you are in every way”,

Paul recognized being in the midst of the Athenians

That their hearts were exposed

That etched into every statue, temple, and object

Everything engaged in their daily lives

Was the yearning to be whole

By the power of God

These words from this Scripture too

Pinpoints in us today

Because of the reminders of the emptiness that this world can only offer

That leaves us aching through our own pain,

Our sorrow

Our longing to be made whole

By the Grace and Mercy of God

For clinging to the physical nature of guns,

There is a desire for security and safety in the arms of the Creator

For obsessing to be connected 24/7

There is the need to be intertwined closely to the being of God

For wanting to be surrounded and have access to anything and everything

There is a necessity to absorb the very essence of God Our Creator

Within ourselves

So that we find peace.

We as people of God sometimes feel abandoned in this world

We need to know that when we cannot find our voices

When we reach out

Needing comfort, security, fulfillment and love

That it will freely pour down upon our very being

What God appear as, or what God’s voice sounds like

May always be unknown to us as people of faith

But God’s Love is not

God’s Word is not

God’s Promises are not

And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate

To be with You Forever.”

What Good News!

God created us to live and move and have being

We are from God

And so is our risen Savior and Lord

Jesus Christ

The Good News of Jesus Christ is that although Christ is not physically standing in our aisles

Or sitting in our pews

Or hanging out with us in our homes

He is here

We find Him at the Table

In the Bread and Wine

In the Body and Blood

And the Good News is that the risen Christ

Sends among us and within us

Filling those places which are empty

The Holy Spirit

has called us through the Gospel, enlightened me by Her gifts, and sanctified and preserved us in the true faith.”

 

That no matter how much we foolishly question

Or blindly search

Jesus Christ will meet us along the way, at the crossroads

No matter whether our faith is rock solid

Or whether we are still wondering and wandering

“I will not leave you orphaned, I am coming to you.”

Thanks Be To God

 

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