What if God was One of Us?

So let’s have this honest conversation about our faith

And about God

And about Jesus Christ

Can we talk?

(pause)

Can we address the elephant which perches over our shoulders,

Follows us in our cars

Camps out in our bedrooms

Pokes at us in those moments of silence and slumber

This elephant in the form of

When will God come to save us?

And

Is this all we will ever have of Jesus-

This Bread and Wine?

What is this supposed to do for us, right now?

(pause)

We find ourselves lost in thought and

Among moments or situations

where life routine can grow ugly

We exhale our worries and fears

And wonder, is our faithful labor in vain?

Is there a God?

(pause)

Is that shocking to say out loud?

Not a day goes by, right

When we pray for the kingdom of God to be revealed

To this shattered world

And this world will finally wake up

More importantly, we as God’s faithful people will be validated!

And our journeys will not be for naught.

And people can stop insulting us

For believing in something we can’t see

Or touch

Or hear

Raise your hands if you have wrestled with this

(pause for the showing of hands)

See, if you ever thought you were alone

Thinking about the existence of God

You aren’t.

(pause)

Perhaps that’s why those unnamed disciples

Walked away from Jesus

In our Gospel text this morning.

“Those who eat my flesh

And drink my blood abide in me

And I in them.”

We surely can see the perplexing thoughts in their faces.

(pause)

These disciples had been following Jesus

Just as we do today, beloved

Waiting

For miracles

Watching-

For Transformation of peoples everywhere

Worrying

About when their livelihoods would finally be restored

(pause)

This Jesus who dared to question the status quo

The occupying empire

The self righteous teachers and law makers

Can we sense this tension,

As these disciples hung onto every word?

Maybe just like us, beloved they wanted to see some action!

When was Jesus going to cease with all this peaceful talk

And put these doubters

These unbelievers

in their place.

Or was this going to be it?

 “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”

(pause)

Picture ourselves in these disciples’ footsteps

Who were trying to understand

What this ministry of Jesus’s was going to accomplish

And if they had wasted their lives following Him

(Share with them that as I had spoken about last week, the more I traveled down this path of seminary journey into this Call, the more I saw the ugliness of society’s treatment of one another but also the more I was aware that there were people who did not believe in the Creator God. Strangely enough as I have slipped on this pastoral identity, I have been made aware of clergy who are practicing but do not believe in the existence of God. Share briefly about the article about an example of a clergy woman in the United Church in Canada who is an atheist)

“No one can know what God is like”

God “exists” as only a human ideal

God is the sum total of our hopes and dreams

God is an important concept-

But to talk about God’s existence,

is nonsense!

(pause)

We volunteer and work in the community of faith

As footstep followers of Jesus Christ

But we sound like broken records

Because we struggle

And are weary

(pause)

When we preach the Good News

Proclaim the Gospel

Testify and share our faith stories

We find ourselves mocked by others

“Jesus? What has Jesus ever done now!?”

Criticized

“The Church does nothing, just blows a lot of feel good air”

Crucified over the actions of those who identify the same

“You Christians won’t help anyone unless we say

we believe in Jesus.

Well I don’t!”

(pause)

We find ourselves sagging in our spirits

Because our labors seem to all be in vain

We slowly stop coming on Sunday morning

We question about where our tithes are going to

We grumble about why we always have to be the ones

Giving and caring for others

We fail to see

The Gift present before us

For us

At the Table

“This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”

And yet, we are ashamed

When others seemingly stand firm in their faith journey

They unabashedly cling to the Cross

Because what else can this world offer?

“Lord, to whom can we go?

You have the words of eternal life”

(pause)

But even Peter’s faith and belief would fail, right?

We have heard the stories

And seen the examples

Where the disciples were just as bumbling and fearful

As we are, beloved

About putting all of our hopes and dreams

Relying on our faith in God

(pause)

“Lord, to whom can we go?

Who else would open their doors

And offer us a seat at the Table

Feeding US

Feeding our spirit

Who else can bring us a Word

Which destroys all unhappiness

Removing obstructions

Instead strengthening the bond

That we have

Through this Jesus the Christ

To God, Our Redeemer

(pause)

Who else has the POWER

TO PUSH BACK THE ABYSS of NOTHINGNESS

That would separate us from God, Our Creator

That commands DEATH to release its grip on our souls

That demands from the evil that seeks to invade

“You have the words of eternal life”

Because OF this-

This, beloved

The Bread and Wine

We are reminded that in this simple Meal

That there is NOTHING on this Earth

That can keep us

From the Love of God!

That is the Good News!

Through this Meal,

Through Jesus’s sacrifice

We know who God has sent

Jesus Christ

The only Son of God!

(pause)

The Good News is,

Even when we stumble

Turn our back

Run away

Deny and betray God-

The Good News is,

The doors are always open to us

The Table is Always Set

For Us.

God’s Unchanging, Unfailing Grace and Mercy

Is for ALL OF US

(pause)

And the Good News is,

God really doesn’t mind our questions

About God

God knows and understands

Remember God has walked among us

Been one of us

And God still loves

All of us

Thanks Be to God.

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