January 22, 2017: The God Who Keeps Searching For Us

Posted on : Jan 19th, 2017 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Often when we talk about faith or having faith, we approach the conversation from the perspective that the challenge and responsibility of having faith is ours personally. If our faith is weak, it’s our problem. Such thinking puts the responsibility of having faith on us personally.

But there is another perspective about having faith and that is that faith already exists because God has faith in us. It’s not our task to create a faithful relationship with God. God has already done that with us. Our task is to discover the faith that God has in us and that God offers us.

An image of this is the love a parent has for a child. Even before a child is born, parents develop a bond with their child. In fact, just about a week ago, I read an article in “Scientific American” that cited new research showing that a woman’s brain changes during pregnancy and that these changes help create maternal bonding with a child. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/pregnancy-causes-lasting-changes-in-a-womans-brain.

From my experience, I’m going to hypothesize that a similar thing happens to men (fathers) as well. The bond between a parent and child is unbelievably strong.

I’m convinced that same bonding exists between we who are “God’s children” and God. The issue for us isn’t how to create the bond that already is, it is how to be awakened to it. Two weeks ago, I spoke about how in our journey of faith we experience the God who keeps showing up in our lives, often through others who help us discover God’s presence. Last Sunday, I spoke about the God who refuses to leave us, no matter now messed up our lives are or how good or bad we are. This Sunday we are going to focus on the God who keeps searching for us.

The movie “Lion” which is based on the memoir “A Long Way Home” by Saroo Brierley is a wonderful example of our search for God and God’s searching for us. The story is about a five-year-old boy from India who is adopted by an Australian couple after he gets lost in Calcutta. Years later, he struggles with his memories of his birth family, and decides to begin a search for them. With the assistance of 21st century technology, Saroo finds his village, his mother and his family. His journey is a wonderful illustration of how God finds us even as we search for God.   It is not unlike the biblical stories Jesus tells about being lost and finding God, such as the story of the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin, and “the Wild-Child” aka, “the Prodigal Son.”

In the week ahead, my we be awakened to the presence of our God who keeps seeking after us until we find our spiritual homecoming with God.

Blessings,

Dan

 

~ This Sunday’s Scripture ~

 Luke 15: 1-24

Three parables about searching for God

From The Message, a contemporary paraphrase of the Bible.

The Story of the Lost Sheep

By this time a lot of men and women of doubtful reputation were hanging around Jesus, listening intently. The Pharisees and religion scholars were not pleased, not at all pleased. They growled, “He takes in sinners and eats meals with them, treating them like old friends.” Their grumbling triggered this story.

“Suppose one of you had a hundred sheep and lost one. Wouldn’t you leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the lost one until you found it? When found, you can be sure you would put it across your shoulders, rejoicing, and when you got home call in your friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Celebrate with me! I’ve found my lost sheep!’ Count on it—there’s more joy in heaven over one sinner’s rescued life than over ninety-nine good people in no need of rescue.

The Story of the Lost Coin

“Or imagine a woman who has ten coins and loses one. Won’t she light a lamp and scour the house, looking in every nook and cranny until she finds it? And when she finds it you can be sure she’ll call her friends and neighbors: ‘Celebrate with me! I found my lost coin!’ Count on it—that’s the kind of party God’s angels throw every time one lost soul turns to God.”

The Story of the Lost Son

Then he said, “There was once a man who had two sons. The younger said to his father, ‘Father, I want right now what’s coming to me.’ “So the father divided the property between them. It wasn’t long before the younger son packed his bags and left for a distant country. There, undisciplined and dissipated, he wasted everything he had. After he had gone through all his money, there was a bad famine all through that country and he began to hurt. He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any.

“That brought him to his senses. He said, ‘All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I’m going back to my father. I’ll say to him, Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son. Take me on as a hired hand.’ He got right up and went home to his father.

“When he was still a long way off, his father saw him. His heart pounding, he ran out, embraced him, and kissed him. The son started his speech: ‘Father, I’ve sinned against God, I’ve sinned before you; I don’t deserve to be called your son ever again.’

“But the father wasn’t listening. He was calling to the servants, ‘Quick. Bring a clean set of clothes and dress him. Put the family ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Then get a grain-fed heifer and roast it. We’re going to feast! We’re going to have a wonderful time! My son is here—given up for dead and now alive! Given up for lost and now found!’ And they began to have a wonderful time.

Leave a Reply