We Trust in God
Over the next several weeks, I will be fleshing out the Brief Statement of Faith of the PCUSA. It appears last in the PCUSA’s Book of Confessions, as it is the most recent. I hope my meditations will help you, dear reader grow in faith in God and deepen your walk with Christ. Even if you don’t consider yourself Presbyterian, I think they will help you. As always, it is my hope that my reflections will nourish you no matter what you are, even if you are of no faith.
So far, I have reflected on how we belong to God, who this God is we belong to and its implications to our faith and life. We have reflected on who Jesus is and why we can and should trust him with our life.
This week, I will look at a longer section of the Brief Statement of Faith that goes into detail of who God is.
Many will say God is not real or try to convince you that God is not good. Each of us whether we believe God is real or not has a concept of who God is. Some hold mistaken ideas of who God is and what He wants from us. It is always good for us to get straight on who God is what he wants, intends, and is all about.
The God I have seen, the God I know and trust is not a taskmaster. God compels not with force, but with love. The God of the bible never forces himself on us, but woes us to him, declares the world good and invites us into life with him over and over. He desires to be in relationship, community, and fellowship with His creation.
This is not about religion.
God has no religion. God is not a Christian, God is not a Jew, or a Muslim, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist. All of those are human systems, which human beings have created to try to help us walk into the mystery of God. I honor my tradition, I walk through my tradition, but I don’t think my tradition defines God, I think it only points me to God. (John Shelby Spong)
God refuses to be put into a box. He defies all easy definitions. The moment you put Him in a box, He breaks out destroying the box and every other box. God is not a well-behaved noun that just sits still. God is a verb. (Buckminster Fuller) God is a wild, free, and irreverent verb. God isn’t safe, but he is good. (C S Lewis) The moment God is figured out with nice neat lines and definitions, we are no longer dealing with God. (Rob Bell)
The good news of this God I have glimpsed, Jesus proclaimed, and the Christian story gospels about is even though we fail to honor God to be what we were created to be God loves us anyway. God is doing the same with us as He did in Jesus. God’s power and presence will not leave us the same. God will restore, redeem, grace, and bless us despite all our foibles. This really is good news, the best possible news and it is for everyone, everywhere. That is what makes this good news good, news, and worth proclamation.
If God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into our life, He’ll do the same thing in us that He did in Jesus, causing us to live vibrant fresh life in Christ. When God lives and breathes in us, as surely as he did in Jesus, we are delivered from dead life to eternal life. God makes us into the people we are to be and live the life we are to live. This is not because we deserve it, because we don’t, but because we trust, God to do what Jesus promised he would do. We take God at his word and hold fast to faith. In trusting God, in making God our center, we live into the grace lavished on us. As Spirit-filled, Christ-centered, and God-glorifying people, we are on the way to life eternal; death is only an interlude that all must pass through on the way to the Kingdom.
When we trust in God and begin living life with God, we will see that God is good. We will begin to understand that God is not about diminishing or punishing us, but making us that we can and should be. God is our Father, king, redeemer, and lover of our soul. God is everywhere and is the very same God who created the universe is the same God, the Abba of Jesus who wants us but doesn’t need us loves each of us personally and powerfully. That is enough to make your head spin to wonder how it is possible that the Creator-King of the universe loves us as much as He does. It’s a deep, transformative, transcendent mystery that we can come to know in this life, but will never quite understand.
We have not been given this world, this life to do whatever pleases us in the moment. We are meant to be image bearers of God in the world; we are to be gifts of God to the world and to use our life to bless others. Our life is not our own. It is a gift, a miracle and if we don’t give it away, it will be taken from us. Our life, like the life of Jesus is to be broken, blessed and given away. We should live our lives as a living prayer to the God who wastes nothing, to the God of Jesus who lavishes boundless, intimate love and grace on all and calls us into relationship with the divine 3-in-1 dance.
Maybe, praising God can be more than just singing hymns, praying, and gathering once a week in a building. Maybe, we can and should praise God with our lives by being mindful, cultivating loving relationships, being kind to all we meet and to the places we live and go, by being a living prayer a living sermon.