“7 Truths: Clear Pointers To God”
When I was a teenager my family went to visit my grandparents one weekend. As was often the case, one of my cousins was there, and so were one of his friends. It was a nice day so we were outside doing whatever it was we were doing. My grandparents lived on a rural farm surrounded by big, long fields. There was an old road that passed along the edge of the property that led back to a couple of houses and we decided to go exploring. We got to the houses and decided to keep going, we wondered where this road led.
Eventually the road led into some woods, and we kept going. The woods became thicker, the road became narrower and rougher. As we were walking my cousin stopped and asked, “Where’s the road?”
Because of the gradual change in the road, we didn’t notice we had walked past the end of it and were just standing as explorers in the woods. And yes, we were lost.
Much pacing around, looking for the trail which had led us here, I admit, there was some panic, but I was also pretty confident in my sense of direction I could find our way out. I grew up surrounded by woods and had explored the forest many times. My cousin’s friend on the other hand, didn’t exactly remain as calm, he was from town after all.
I often wonder if he found his way out.
I kid of course. After some careful backtracking I located the path, which became a road that led us out of the woods and back into the fields, past the houses and to my grandfather’s farm.
But for those few minutes, standing amongst the trees of an unfamiliar forrest, I was lost. This was before GPS and Google Maps. Before cell phones. There were no signs. Just trees and bushes and not a lot of other things to guide us home.
This is our fourth Sunday looking at the “7 Truths That Changed The World” based on the book by Kenneth Richard Samples. This is the chapter where he takes on the atheists who question the existence of God and their claims the universe randomly created itself without an outside influence.
To be honest, this section of his book is probably the least preach-able, and maybe the weakest chapters. But he does show he’s not afraid to take them on as not only a man of faith, but as an academic who attempts to prove God’s existence in the same way they use facts and theories to disprove God.
It kind of boils down to this: patterns.
When we look at the world, or the greater universe with our eyes we are often amazed by the randomness of it all. Some trees are green, some are yellow. Some have leaves, some have needles. Some animals lay eggs, some have live birth. Some animals eat foliage, some eat other animals. I look like me, you look like you.
Mosquitos. Enough said.
Yet, when we explore more about what we can see, we learn that it’s far more interconnected than we realize. We realize the meat eating animals require the plant eaters.
We realize that the falling leaves nourish the soil around the tree.
We realize mosquitos… actually we still don’t understand mosquitos.
But the more we study the more we realize there really is an order to all this chaos around us. We realize through physics and mathematics that there are amazing patterns to nature and how it interacts with itself. We realize that all this random activity actually has a formula, a pattern, a reason behind it. It’s not really random at all.
So with all these patterns showing up in nature all around us, whether we see them or not, what does this tell us?
In our reading from Colossians we read, “For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
For us as Christians, we make a claim that there is a source for these patterns, and it permeates through all of creation. From the smallest molecules to the largest of galaxies. There is an order to it all, and there is a source who put all these things in place and gave them a start.
But that’s not all. God did not stop after giving the universe its push. God is still active in the world today. The Bible is full of examples of lives touched by the presence of God. Some of you may even have some of those stories in your own life.
To say the world does not show us God is to say the world then must be lost in chaos and disarray. It is saying we have no reason to hope because there is no beginning, no meaning or reason and there is no end.
So we might as well descend into lives of tribalism and sin, because we will just wander the streets, the world, the universe completely lost and without meaning.
It means we might as well forget about searching the forrest looking for the road back home because whether we live or whether we die there is no difference.
It means we need to ask, “Why? Why are we here?”
If there’s no greater meaning, then why bother?
But deep inside of each and every one of us is this longing to connect to the deeper meaning. We long to understand the reason behind our existence. But even better yet, we long for a connection to our creator. It’s what drives us in our lives. It’s what drives us to ask more questions about why the world works the way that it does. It drives us to make the world a better place.
Our dangerous idea, our truth that God is alive and in the world, is one that makes the most sense to us. We see God in our every day lives every time we open our eyes, every time we take a breath, or touch someone we love.
Jesus Christ experienced God’s creation as he walked the earth. God, Himself, came in the form of a man to show us how to live in His creation. How to care for the earth, how to love one another, and how to experience the living God in our own hearts.
We read this morning, “And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.”
Jesus Christ is God among us. In Jesus Christ we belong to God. He who gave not only of himself, but gave all of himself, came so that we might know our creator personally.
This is our invitation. And as we gather around the Lord’s table in a few moments, it is our gift to receive the blessings of God in the bread and the wine. A feast far greater than may be on our tables this Thanksgiving weekend. A feast served by our God and our King for those who call on Him as the source and future of our lives.
Thanks be to God for the gift of His creation, and for reminding us daily of the His love for the world.