Saturday, January 11, 2014

2014/01/12 Who Do You Think You are?

Pretend for a minute that you are not Christian – that you know nothing about Jesus – in fact – that you don’t know a thing about God.  You’ve never heard the scriptures.  You’ve never gone to church.  You’ve never experienced the Grace from prayer.
Now that you’re a blank slate, let me ask you – who are you?  Without your identity as a Christian….Who do you think you are?
For starters, if we had no belief in God – what would be the meaning of our existence?  Without God, all of creation would seem to us to be no more than a collection of chances.  You and I would be no more than a member of the animal kingdom – and like the other animals – the only meaning of our existence would be to find food, to procreate, and to look out only for ourselves.  The idea of Love would be nothing more than our own self-serving feelings of keeping ourselves happy.  Human beings would be nothing more than a glob of goo or a collection of cells than came to life randomly in some primordial soup. 
Life would be meaningless.
Is that what we believe?  Is that who we THINK we are?
This is the problem that God had after he created Mankind.  He had just created people who knew nothing about him.  He knew that a person living without knowledge of where they came from would easily fall into living only for the moment... only to fulfill my OWN desires… because life would have no other meaning.  God knew this would happen, So, from the beginning, he had this great ‘Divine Plan’ to reveal himself to the world.
If you were God, how would you go about doing that?  Imagine: You’ve got a bunch of people sitting in darkness…in fact, they’ve never seen light… in fact, they don’t know what light is!!  Would it be a good idea to simply walk in and turn on the light?  No way – some would die from fear – all would cover their eyes or go blind  – most would run away.  No – God could not simply reveal himself to the world…. So like I said, he had this ‘Divine Plan’ of how to introduce himself to us.
And that’s what we’ve experienced over the last few weeks:  Three epiphanies (and epiphany is a revelation) :  the angels revealed to the shepherds who the baby was, the star and the scriptures revealed to the wise men who the newborn King was, and today, God himself opens the heavens and tells us who Jesus is.  Three epiphanies….meant to introduce us to the light a little bit at a time.
Why should we care?  Well – if we think that you are no more than a glob of goo, then maybe we DON’T care.  But, IF God DID create us, then there is so much more that follows from that truth…. It means He really DID make us in His image.  It means He really DID open the heavens so that we could live with Him in eternity.  It means He really DID come in human form to reveal himself to the world….so mankind could KNOW Him. 
But there’re more… he also reveals himself to each of us personally.  Maybe it hasn’t happened for you yet…. Like John in the Gospel, he had in his mind what would happen when the Messiah appeared… He would baptize everybody with Fire!!  So – he was confused when Jesus asked to be baptized by him.  John thought, “That’s not the way it’s supposed to happen!”  But Jesus uttered one phrase, which is kinda hard to understand…. “Allow it now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”  In other words… John… this is your part in helping to reveal God to the world.  Just do the task you’ve been given to do, and watch what happens.  And you know what happened… the heavens were opened and God revealed himself to John.

So it is with you and me.  We all play a part in helping to reveal God to the world.  Every day is filled with little epiphanies.  WE are part of God’s ‘Divine Plan’!!!  He planted his Church on the earth to continue to reveal himself to the world – and you and I are an integral part of that plan.  When we were baptized, he really DID send His Holy Spirit upon US and declared that “you are MY beloved! “

So does that change our answer…?  Who do you think you are?  If , after all of the epiphanies, we STILL believe we are just a glob of goo, then we may never really understand and believe that we ARE God’s beloved…. How do we know???
Just do the task you’ve been given to do, and watch what happens. 

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