Sep 16: The Difference btw God and Google

Posted on : Sep 13th, 2012 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

Many of you have heard me talk about my fabulous nephews.  Josh is the younger of the two boys and in just about every way, fits the “younger brother” stereotype.  I know the role well, because I’m the middle of three boys.  The devilish side of me comes out when I function as the younger brother.  The responsible side of me comes out when I function as the older brother.

A few years ago Josh’s older brother entered into his first serious relationship.  After dating for a while, he and his girlfriend moved in together.  Things were going well for a couple of years and then they started to have problems.  When things began to get rough, his girlfriend announced that she wanted some space in their relationship.

Last year when I was back east visiting them, Josh was absolutely filled with delight that his brother was having relationship problems.  With great glee and natural devilishness, every chance he had, Josh would ask, “Uncle Dan, what does it mean when your girlfriend says she needs space?”

He clearly knew what it meant, and he was ready to move in “for the kill.”  I tried as kindly as I could to explain to Josh that he really shouldn’t be so gleeful about the demise of his brother’s relationship because it was highly likely that one day someone was going to use the same “line” on him.  As we all know, the end result of the “I need space” thing is usually not good.  But that did not stop this devilish younger brother!

One evening while we were upstairs in their den, Josh was sitting at his computer desk.  Once again with great glee he started in on his brother.  “Uncle Dan, what does it mean when your girlfriend says she needs space?”

Before I could offer a reflective answer, he pulled out the keyboard slide on his computer desk and said, “Let’s ask Almighty Google!”  And with that, he typed in the search box, “What does it mean when your girlfriend says she needs space?”

Personally, the last place in the world I would go to for relationship advice is Google, but he is a Millennial/Gen Y, so Google is his Bible.  He had obviously done that search many times before because he knew exactly which search link to click on.  Then, one by one, he read the social network’s “gospel of relationship advice” to me.  After each entry, he’d get a big grin on his face and say, “Uncle Dan, he’s screwed isn’t he?”

As a younger brother, I know pay-back time will one day come to him.  Humility, if not compassion, is a hard lesson to learn!  But there was something about the way he said “Almighty Google” that struck me in a profound way.  In this 21st Century, is Google the new God?  Has “Almighty Google” replaced “Almighty God?”  To a lot of people that may be more true than we want to admit.  Certainly one of the most dominant attributes we ascribe to God is “All Knowing.”  If God is “all knowing” then Google can’t be far behind – in fact, Google may be faster, if not better than God when it comes to “answers.”  But, is “answers to life’s questions” who God is and what God is for?

What is the difference between God and Google?  That’s what we’re going to explore this Sunday.



~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Exodus 3: 1-14

From a burning bush, God calls to Moses, and Moses asks God, “Who Are You?”

Now Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, and he led his flock to the west side of the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God.  There the angel of God appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; and Moses looked, and lo, the bush was burning, yet it was not consumed.  And Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burnt.”  When God saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!”  And Moses said, “Here I am.”  Then God said, “Come no closer!  Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.”  And God said, “I am the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham and Sarah, the God of Isaac and Rebekah, and the God of Jacob and Rachel and Leah.”  And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Then God said, “I have seen the affliction of my people who are in Egypt; and I have heard their cry because of their taskmasters. I know their sufferings, and I have come to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey.  Come, I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring my people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.  But Moses said to God, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?

Then Moses said to God, “If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, “the God of your ancestors has sent me to you,” and they ask me, “What is the name of that God?” what shall I say to them?  God said to Moses, tell them, “I AM WHO I AM.”


1 JOHN 4: 7-21

In this simple, yet difficult teaching, the writer of the first letter of John challenges the people of the first century Church who were severely “beaten up and abused” to know that God is not a God of vengeance, but of Love.

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God,

and those who love are born of God and know God.

Those who do not love,

do not know God;

for God is LOVE.

In this the Love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent Christ Jesus into the world, so that we might live through him.  In this is love, not that we loved God, but that God loved us and sent Christ Jesus to forgive our sin.  Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; yet if we love one another, God abides in us and God’s love is perfected in us.

The way that we know that we remain in God and God in us is that we have been given the Spirit.  We have seen for ourselves, and can testify, that God has sent Jesus as Savior of the world.  When any acknowledge that Jesus is the Child of God, God dwells in them and they in God.

We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us.

God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God in them.

Love will come to perfection in us when we can face the day of judgment without fear – because our relation to this world is just like Christ’s.  There is no fear in love, for perfect love casts out fear.  For fear has to do with punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in Love.

We love, because God first loved us.  If anyone says, “I Love God,” and hates another person, that person is a liar; for those who do not love other persons whom they know and can see, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.

And this commandment we have from God, that those who love God should also love all other persons of this world, those who are our brothers and sisters of the world community.

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