Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Lent Day 19: Out of touch? With whom?

"U.S. Catholics in Poll See a Church out of Touch" screamed the NY Times headline this morning. That got me wondering, "Out of touch with whom?"

We want a god in our own image. One who lets us do whatever pleases us but doesn't let us get hurt. One who indulges our inclination to sin but doesn't punish us for violating a higher holy nature. One who affirms but doesn't demand.

We constantly remake God to suit ourselves. Those who value wealth look for verses in scripture to support material prosperity. Those most comfortable with "black and white" thinking emphasize the commandments and legal prescriptions. Those who lean toward kindness and hoping for the best may pick out verses about God's love and forgiveness, without recognizing the justice and holiness of God.

God will always seem "out of touch" to those who rewrite his revelation. To those who want God to change when they do not want to. To those who don't want to be accountable to anyone but themselves. To those refuse to embrace the God of ALL the Bible, OT and NT, the revelation of Love and grace ... plus justice and provision for mercy.

However, God is consistent to his nature. If He never changes, how could we have missed understanding Him?

So how can we begin to know the God who was, is, and is to come?
  1. Be open. God promised to make Himself known to those who earnestly seek Him with their whole heart.
  2. Be active. Read scripture. Pray. Seek a community of faith with whom to explore faith. Serve other people and find out more about God as you watch Him work in others as well as in you.
  3. Be willing. You'll have to change the way you assume things are. You're leaving preconceptions behind for a mind-bending adventure!
  4. Be ready. The life of faith is mysterious. You'll change, day by day, year by year, decade by decade. God intends to shape you into conformity with Jesus.
  5. Be in motion. Don't get stuck. When you find yourself settling into familiar patterns, attack the scriptures for new insights. Pray longer and more openly. Volunteer. Work. Embrace life!
6. And be prepared for ANYTHING! Our creative God will take you places you never dreamed. Walk you through valleys so deep and hike you up mountains so high you will be breathless with pleasure as well as pain. And some day -- when you see Him face to face -- you will recognize the one you've already learned to love and trust!

Read more:
*Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the Lord is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighed. 1 Samuel 2:3 NLT

*[Jesus told his disciples,] "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn't looking for him and doesn't recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. No, I will not abandon you as orphans—I will come to you." John 14:16–18

*Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV

*Let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action. 1 John 3:18

Moravian Prayer: May we feel you beside us this day, God. May we be aware of how we communicate our feelings of love through more than words. Help us to make everything we do be rooted in love, an expression of love, and a witness to your love. Amen.

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