The Things of God
About The Things of God
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference. (18-20)
You might recognize this line from the poem “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Or maybe you don’t which is fine. What matters to me, this series, and hopefully you, is the meaning behind it.
There are many voices in the Christian world from which to choose. In some states, in the US, there are Churches on just about every street corner.
If you go to most any Church in the US, you will see and hear mostly the same things, in the same order, and done the same way they have been done for decades.
Sure, there may be a few minor doctorial differences, but it is all basically the same stuff we have all heard over and over for our entire lives. Service starts with Worship, followed by a few announcements, and then a time of preaching.
The only real change that you will find, depending on the denomination and Church you go to, is the Worship. Most Churches no longer use hymnals. Most Churches now have more modern and lively Worship, which I applaud.
As for the words preached, they have not really changed either. Now I am not advocating re-writing the Bible or re-inventing God. Not that I could if I tried, though many have. God and his Word, is the same yesterday, today and forever.
(The Word was from God and the Word was God John 1:1)
But just because a thing has always been done a certain way, does this mean that is the right way, the only way, or best way? Society is always changing, and if I can use that word many Christians seems to hate, evolving.
God has not changed, but we have, and the world in which we live has. We are moving more and more online and into a digital world each and every day.
- Our speech has changed
- Our traditions have changed
- Our values have changed
- Our music has changed
- Our entire World has changed
But most of the way we do Church, and the way we see God, has not changed.
The Bible was written 2000 years ago. If you are a writer, or have any familiarity with writing, you will know that when you write something, you have to keep your audience in mind. The Bible was written almost exclusively with the Jews in mind.
Much of the Bible will only make sense if you have some knowledge of the region where Jesus was born, the Jewish people, Jewish traditions, Jewish culture, and Jewish festivals.
To get an idea of this, we only have to look at our constitution.
When the constitution was written, it was written in a much different time, with a much different people in mind, with a much different way of speaking, a much different culture, etc…
Now we still use the same constitution and still abide by what it says, so it’s very relevant for today. But there are many things in it that have to be interpreted, and even in some cases modified to fit into today’s society.
We call this body that interprets the constitution the Supreme Court. It’s their job to take what was written and figure out how it fits into today’s world.
The old saying is that if something is not broken, don’t fix it. Trying to fix something that is not really broken may make it worse and may break it for real. But when it comes to the Church and God’s Word, is something missing?
If you will pardon to movie reference, it is like the movie “The Matrix”. Morpheus is trying to tell Neo why The Matrix is bad and he should want to escape into the real world. He tells Neo that he has always known that something was wrong. He just did not know what. Morpheus goes on to describe it like a “splinter in his mind”.
Now for those non-sci-fi folks out there, I will change this to something we can all relate to.
If you have ever had a splinter under your skin, you know how annoying it is. It is something you often can’t see, but you know it’s there because it’s a constant pain that you just can’t get at no matter how hard you try. To get the splinter out, you have to dig into the skin and hunt for it. Once it’s out though, and the pain subsides, and the relief is sure joy.
The point is that the way Church is done now and how God is known now is the road well-traveled. It is the same ole service, done the same ole way, with Pastors saying the same ole things, and God being known the same ole way that he has been for decades.
It is like the movie Star Wars. In one of them, I forget which, Yoda and some of the others on the council are talking about the prophecy. The prophecy says that one would come which would bring balance to the force. Now the Jedi assumed this meant that the one that would come would defeat their enemies (The Syth) and they would win and rule the galaxy.
But things just don’t seem to be lining up with this. The one that came (Anakin) seems to be going off the Jedi path and the darkness seems to be getting worse instead of better. Yoda postulates that maybe the prophecy was read wrong.
The Jews, of Jesus’s day, made the same mistake.
When Jesus came on the scene, the Jewish leadership thought he was going to kill the Romans and set up shop on earth. Jesus, according to them, was going to rule and reign on earth and cause the Jews to defeat all their enemies. The result would be that they would win.
Well, as we all know, the Jews were wrong. Jesus turned the other cheek, and let the Romans crucify him. Now he rules and reigns in heaven, not on the earth. The Jews, instead of being the ruling class, are just a part of the bigger picture, which is all the people on the earth. Though they are still the favored people of God.
- Is it possible that we have missed some important Things of God that we thought we had down pat?
- Is it possible that there are some Things of God that we have misinterpreted?
- Is it possible that maybe there are Things of God that we have just plain got all wrong?
Getting back to the saying of “if it is not broke, don’t fix it”;
Are you sure it is not broke?
- We go to Church and pretend to be holy
- We hide our fears, our needs, our broken marriages, our sin, and our real selves because we fear we are alone and no one else is broken.
- We sing songs in Worship because we are told we have to
- But we don’t really understand what the words mean, and even the ones we do understand, lack meaning. They are just empty words on a screen, or in a book
- When the Pastor calls you down for prayer, because of a need that you have, you go hoping that you will receive something…anything from your God and your Pastor
- But instead, the Pastor prays and just sends you right back to your chair with little to nothing to show for your effort.
- When the preaching starts, you listen, but it’s the same old boring words you have heard a million times before.
- Where is the life in these words? Where is the love? Where is the faith?
- God seems like he is a million miles from you.
- It seems like the harder you try, the less you really get God and no one seems to want to explain him to you
- You, or someone you know, is sick or dying
- You don’t understand why God does not just show up and heal
- The God in the Bible just does not make sense anymore
- It used to when you were young, but now that you are older, you have questions that no one seems to want to answer, or even talk about
- You have needs in your life
- You need a job, food on the table, money to pay bills and the mortgage, yet no one is helping, not even God.
- You are going around and around the same old mountain
- There are blocks in your life that you just can’t get past. No matter how hard you try, you can’t break through
- You are lost
- The God of the Bible is not real in your life, and it seems, in the life of anyone else. Something is wrong like a splinter in your mind, but you have no clue what it is.
- What is faith and why can’t you seem to have any?
- The Bible, and the Preacher, talks about Faith, but no one has really explained what it is or how to use it
- You can’t hear God
- The Bible says you should be able to do this, and you are supposed to, but how does this work?
Maybe, just maybe, God does not live in that small box we have been taught that he did.
Maybe, just maybe, God is a lot bigger than we have been led to think he is.
Maybe, just maybe, God is big enough to include your Finances, your Job, your Marriage, your Friendships, your Entertainment, your Thoughts, every single aspect of your lives, your world and even the universe.
In this podcast/class, we will explore the “Things of God” and ask that age-old question, What If?
What if God is way bigger than we thought that he is?
What if The Things of God are so huge, that they incorporate things that we never even thought were God?
Things like music
In order for music to be God, does it have to mention God or Jesus every other word?
In order for our conversations to be God, do they have to include the words church, ministry, God, or Jesus?
Our day to day lives
We tend to pigeon hole God and the Things of God. When we think of something Godly, our thoughts turn to the Church down the street, the local Preacher, a ministry, a food pantry, a clothing closet, or a homeless shelter. But is this all there is to God?
Is it possible that God is bigger than this?
Is it possible that other things in our lives, our world, and the universe can be a Thing of God?
In this podcast/class, we will explore the possibility that maybe we miss God because we have been taught that God only lives in certain places, and in certain areas of our lives. Is it possible that God wants to expand our view of who he really is and just how much of our lives we have excluded from being considered a Thing of God?
We will explore the road less traveled and find out if it will make all the difference in our thoughts pertaining to the Things of God.