One of the suggested readings for last week comes from Genesis 9 where God tells Noah, “I have set my bow in the clouds and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.” God then goes on to make sure the message is clear in verses 9:14-17. Over the past few weeks I have seen some rainbows after the rain; even a double, one morning. In the midst of what is happening around us, isn’t that comforting?
I want to paraphrase some thoughts shared by Carlo Carretto in his book, The God Who Comes. The God who was, is, and will be forever is constantly searching for us and our responses. By God’s choice, his relationship with us is presence, as a call, as a guide; he is not satisfied with just speaking to us, or showing things to us, or asking things of us. He does much more. One of the things the Genesis covenant assures is that God is life, and will always be on the side of life and its potential.
God knows that we really can do nothing much without him. Yet, God presents himself little by little. The whole story of salvation is the story of the God who comes. We can and should experience that coming at times throughout our lives, even as we are aware that God has not yet come in the anticipated fullness.
There is one moment, one unique event that helps us understand that all before it are only preparations and announcements of what was coming. That moment was the INCARNATION! The incarnation brings the world God’s presence. God is made human in Christ. God becomes present to us in such an obvious presence that all of the previous complicated calculations about him were overthrown. The invisible, intangible God is made visible and tangible in Christ. As Jesus is truly God, a number of things become clearer. At the same time our response becomes even more important.
Paul reminds the Athenians in Acts that the Greek poets declared that we are God’s offspring. In another biblical setting we are described as joint heirs with Christ as children of God. In yesterday’s text from John’s Gospel we learned that the Holy Spirit will be known by us because that Spirit abides in us. We are running out of excuses regarding our relationship with God and the responsibilities that go with it. Let’s commit ourselves to doing better at whatever we are called to do. We aren’t called to do the same things, but we are called to help complete human calling to be more than we were. I find it encouraging to realize that God depends on us to participate. There continue to be unsettling things going on around us. Important events are cancelled or postponed. Decisions are put off until we can find adjusted ways to express opinions and desires. Yet, through it all, our relationships with God and with each other are being demonstrated in many variously positive acts and commitments. Thanks be to the God who comes, always!
From Hymn #399 Take My Life, and Let It Be
Take my life, and let it be consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days; let them flow in cease-less praise.
Take my hands, and let them move at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.
Almighty God, you have created us, called us, chosen us to be your people. We wait now to receive your word of guidance and blessing. Grant to us ears to hear, eyes to see, and faith to respond to your love and leadership.
In the name of Christ we pray. Amen.
Pastor David Brosnan