Sermon for 30 May 2021

Service for May 30, 2021 – Churchill and Gilford United Churches
Sermon: That God Might Exist

A troublesome individual (I am being politically correct) came to the minister and stated. “I don’t believe in God because God has not awarded me with what I feel I deserve. I need a sign from God that God exists”. The minister advised that person “Go stand in the rain”. A few minutes later that person came back soaking wet and stated “There was no sign and I feel like an idiot”. The minister responded. There are many ways that God is reveals what we deserve, this one seems to have worked”

God can be revealed in many different ways.

John Boger in a book called “The Great Hunger” tells a story about an engineer whose daughter was killed by the neighbour’s dog. The community turns against the neighbour but after a while the area is hit by a famine. The engineer goes out and plants corn in that neighbours field. When the local people asked him why, he said “That God might Exist”

It’s an odd phrase. Doesn’t God always exist? We are told that God is always there but sometimes God’s presence seems pretty removed and difficult to find.

Another story is of a child in a cathedral. The child looks up and sees the painting of an old man in the clouds. He asks who it is. The parent says that it is God. After contemplation the child says “But he is so far away”

Sam Levenson in a cliche and often repeated line states If God is so far away – who moved?

People come up with “Proofs” of God’s existence. Most are scientifically oriented in the sense that they are searching for “Proof”.
There is the Pool Table theory based in the concept that God started the motion of creation and the various effects continue to develop, but that God was the original mover.

There is the Watchmaker theory which claims that the world is so well made and so intricate that it could not be by chance.

There is the “Ought” which is just the idea that God exists because we have morals. Morals draw us out of our selfish human reality to a higher level.

Finally there is the Reaching up Proof. Every civilization has portrayed a god or gods by their prayer methods.

Even in the bible in Deuteronomy 4: 32, there is a list of ways by which we should know that God exists.

We question not just God’s existence we question our own as well. I have had many discussions with people over the years questioning whether or not we as humans exist. Descartes, “I think therefore I am” is a classic response to that. But we won’t get into that because if you don’t know you exist then there is no sense in asking for your contributions.

Sam’s statement about “Who moved?” is a clever line indicating the idea that God is always present but it does have some limitations in the idea that God doesn’t ever move or change. Perhaps God doesn’t change but our understanding of God does
I would counter that statement with a line that seems at first like an oxymoron by saying. If God is so far away who didn’t move?”

Often people have what we call a Sunday school faith. Their understanding of God was formed when they attended Sunday school. It is inadequate. It does not explain the adult questions and so it feels like God has disappeared. We have to move our minds to comprehend God in our lives.
When Jesus spoke to Nicodemus he told him he must be re-born. Unfortunately that term now has a great amount of baggage with it and in some cases a very specific protocol and mandated results. I was asked once if I spoke in tongues and when I replied that I did not, I was told that I was not reborn.
Being reborn really means entering a new reality where the spiritual life is predominate. Jesus was guiding Nicodemus away from the physical quest to the spiritual view.

The “proofs” of God’s existence don’t work because they are in the physical world. Our understanding of God only happens in the spiritual realm. We no longer prove that God exists, we must allow God to exist.
By our actions and our thoughts we permit God to exist in our hearts and world.

There is a wonderful story of a boy who goes to leave his house. His mother asks him where he is going and he tells her he is going in search of God. As he walks down the street he sees a puppy on the road with what appears to be a hurt leg. He also sees an approaching car. Because of his heart, he immediately runs out and grabs the dog out of harm’s way. As they lie together on the side of the road, the puppy realising what has happened, reaches up and gives the boy a kiss. The boy then takes the puppy back across the road to the house where he has come from. He leaves the little dog with the people and returns home. His mother asks him if he found God. The boy says “Yes, I was kissed by a puppy for no reason, and I realise that God’s love is everywhere”. The puppy on the other hand gets scolded by his mother for leaving the litter and getting hurt. She says “Well was the journey worth the injury?” The puppy replied “Yes, today I found God”

We allow God to exist by our actions. We create the space for God to occur in our world when we take the time to contact someone who is ill or missing; when we take the effort to clean up our world; when we stand up for peace; when we forgive; when we share; when we take the time to be concerned; when we love.
The Jews have a tradition called the Mezuzah. It is a little box over the door that holds the ten commandments or a prayer. Each time they enter or leave they are to touch the box to remind them to take God with them in their actions and thoughts. Perhaps we should have a reminder that helps us take God into the world, so that God’s existence will be seen in the world through us.

There is an expression: If you can’t find kindness then be kindness. Maybe we should change that to read “If you can’t find God in your world then be God in your world”

PRAYER
God may we aspire to be your hands and feet in this world. May we be the reason someone realises hope; may we be the catalyst that brings forgiveness into a situation; may we be the vehicle by which people are fed, both spiritually and physically; may we be the dawn of a new life for someone who is failing. God help us to find you in everyday love of others. Now we pray in the way Jesus taught us.

Our Father who art in heaven, Hallowed by thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. lead us not into temptation. but deliver us from evil. for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory. forever and ever Amen

SERVICE May 30, 2021
Announcements
Etransfer info at bottom of page
Thanks to helpers: Cathy, Doris, Cheryl
Opening Prayer
The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. No matter where we are Oh God, we are with you. Help us to hear, see, and feel you in this time of worship. Amen

Hymn – What a Friend
Scripture John 3: 1-10
Reflection
Prayer
Lord’s Prayer
Hymn Give to Us Laughter
Benediction

Go now in peace, Never be afraid
God will go with you, each hour of every day
Go now in faith, steadfast strong and true
Know God will guide you in all you do,
Go now in love and show you believe
Reach out to others so all the world can see
God will be there, watching from above
Go now in peace, in faith and in love
Amen, Amen, Amen

Info about contributing

The traditional way is to send a cheque via mail to one of the treasurers.
Make the cheque out to:
Churchill United Church
send to Agnes Cole at 226 Valleyview Dr. Churchill, Ont L0L1K0
or Gilford United Church
send to Doris Coborn at 1468 Gilford Rd, Gilford. L0L1R0

An Alternative (and better) way is Etransfer
(This method is faster, cheaper and cleaner. If you don’t know how to do it, the bank or some young kid has instructions)

Send the Etransfer to
churchillchurch2020@gmail.com
The security question is – What is the name of your church
Answer – Churchill

or panddcoborn@gmail.com
No security question

Another option is contact us and we will pick it up from your porch. Thanks