Not only is it part of our human nature, we are conditioned by the constant bombardment of advertising and media stories to think that life is all about us…. our wants, our needs, our way of doing things. This even can translate into our expectations in worship. Worship becomes what we want out of it, rather than what we give, or, to put it another way, what God wants from us.
So ingrained is our thinking that life is all about us, that even when we come to faith, we assume we have found God. The truth is, God was not lost. We were! The reality is that God finds us!
Karl Barth reminds us that all human history begins in being addressed. “Adam, where are you?” That was God’s first question to us. Later, God would ask, “Who told you to eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree?” Then, “Where is your brother?” Finally, “What have you done?”
We like to think of ourselves as those who question God. “Do you exist?” “Where are you?” “Why do you allow suffering in the world?” “Are you good?” The Bible suggests otherwise. Our questions to God are not nearly so interesting as God’s questions to us. “Adam, where are you?” “What have you done?”
Our whole lives are attempts to find an answer for ourselves. We think we are autonomous and free from accountability. Life is what we want, what we say. We live for and by ourselves. Consequently, we create our own god, or we create God in our image, or we treat God as our personal genie, and when God doesn’t deliver as we expect, we question the goodness or the reality of God.
Jesus said the way to find life is to lose it! Losing it means letting go and letting God take control. It begins with hearing God, moves to responding and finally committing.
Commencing this Sunday, January 28, we will begin a three week mini-series on the topic of ‘What God Wants’, culminating in a ‘Covenant Service’ on February 14th, a rich tradition from our Methodist heritage where we are reminded of God’s covenant that he has established with us and where we get to recommit to that covenant. You’re invited!