Lenten Devotional: Wednesday, March 28

by Steve Frick

Romans 1:20 (VOICE): From the beginning, creation in its magnificence enlightens us to His nature. Creation itself makes His undying power and divine identity clear, even though they are invisible; and it voids the excuses and ignorant claims of these people.

While it may seem that the outward creation should be responsible for our faith, it is the interpreter of our faith. That faith has its primary sources within our own hearts, but it becomes an intelligible and articulate conviction only through what we observe around us. Hence, the inner and the outer revelation of God complement each other, making up between them one universal and immovable conviction that God IS, and that His power is not a mere blind force, or pantheistic “spirit of nature” but the power of a living Godhead. The Gospels not only testify that Jesus is God, but that He is our divine Creator. His divinity makes Him worthy our worship and praise.

John 1:3 (NASB) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.   

Have you ever wondered to yourself, “Could I be an atheist if I had never been exposed to religion, and more specifically, Christianity?” For me, the answer is a resounding NO. I consider myself a person who acts on logic quite a bit, and probably too much. It is often not logical to follow what God ASKS us to do, but takes faith, which is not necessarily founded in logic. However, the logic on which I operate absolutely tells me there is a Creator. I could not be an atheist if I wanted to because creation must have been preceded by its Creator. For me, being an atheist would be no different than believing that I didn’t have a mother and father!

When I consider the Earth orbiting the sun 93 million miles away, the moon orbiting the Earth, the oceans that cover the majority of the Earth, the mountains, the forests and deserts, rivers, trees, plants – ALL working in concert to produce and sustain life … I see evidence of God. When I see the bees buzzing around in the flowers, the butterflies flitting from bush to bush, the birds flying from tree to tree … I see the evidence of God. The Earth, the solar system, the Milky Way galaxy, the Universe … is not an accident. It is not something that simply happened because a fluctuation of an infinitely dense singularity burst forth without a creator.

While it may have been a big bang from nothingness, God’s OWNS that bang and the nothingness beforehand. When I consider the complexity of cells, the physics of the atom, the photons that give us light … I see evidence of God. Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Astronomy … Science – the facts, the truth. God is the author and creator of all science, and the beauty and exquisiteness of it ALL is tangibly seen in nature, in life. It is all an extension of His Being, WE are an extension of His Being. God made man in His own image. God is infinitely wise and intelligent beyond our imagination in all that He has created, and while mankind thinks He knows a lot, He only knows the tip of the iceberg – that which can be seen and studied, but much has not been revealed to us.

I realize I’ve only spoken about the physical world and what we can see, but it is the realm in which we live and as Roman 1:20 states: His power and divine identity are invisible to the eye, they are made evident from what He has created.

Prayer: Oh God of the universe and all life, we praise an honor You for Your goodness to us and for Your creation which is such a gift to enjoy. Thank you for the sustenance that you provide through your creation, and remind us daily that the beauty which surrounds us in the natural world and the goodness we find in others is all from You. I pray that the evidence of your creation will strengthen our faith and give us joy that we are made in your image.

Sermon: The Apostle’s Magic and Mystery Tour

While it would seem that nobody really believes in magic, if we’re honest, a great deal of what passes for faith can tend toward magic if we’re not careful.

Magic attempts to control results and predict the future, while faith remains open to the unmanageable gifts that God puts in our lives. When life hands us a situation we can’t control, our trust that God is at work among us is more a matter of spiritual perception than it is our innate ability to conjure impressive results. With a little help from Harry Potter, we’ll see that a life well lived is less about asking “what abilities do I have that allow me to control my life” and more about the question repentance leads us to ask– “what  do I need to do to be the person God wants me to be?”

 Sermon

The Apostle’s Magic and Mystery Tour
Sermon by The Rev. Joe Gunby
Acts 8: 4-25
July 9, 2017