The past two weeks my biorhythms have experienced two dramatic high points. The sighting of the eagle and its meaning making for me was in itself awesome. Then on top of that, the discovery of the Worshiping Oak, the first place anyone worshiped as a Christian in Haverhill only yards away from where I will be living. These two experiences, one random and the other a quest, are exciting affirmations that lead me to believe God’s got a plan and a purpose and is calling you and I to form a new reemerging Christian community.
This past week I preached at Belleville Congregational Church in Newburyport. The text was from the book of Acts chapter 17. Where Paul preaches a sermon in the street, in front of a alter to the “Unknown God” in Athens. You see the Athenians where spiritual seekers and they were highly fearful and superstitious. So this altar was a “ just in case we missed a God” alter. They were so afraid that if they missed one god that god would take vengeance on them. Paul declares, “I know this God!” and people flocked to listen. He said, “This is the God, who created all things and was higher than any of the other gods. This God is no stone statue. This God is a living Stone! This God is Love! This Love was crucified and rose again! Paul even quoted two Greek poets. The first Epimenides, a Greek poet from Crete who wrote, “In him we live and move and have our being,”. Then Aratus from Cilician who stated, “We too are God’s children,”.
Like the Athenians we all seek to find the answer to three questions.
- “Why is there death?
- Is there a God who cares?
- What must I do to have a happy life?”
Paul understood and he had compassion and a desire to lift them up and out of fear and superstition which these questions invoke, and move them away from making sacrifices in order to earn God’s favor. Paul’s invitation was a foreign concept for these folks. He wanted them to envision themselves as “living and moving and having their being” enveloped in God Love and Grace through Jesus Christ.
Christians believe Jesus is the Son of God. He is God and He is human. We believe that Jesus rose again because LOVE is God and LOVE could not be extinguished. At that alter Paul revealed the nature of the Unknown God, the Unknown Living Stone. Who seeks to be in a relationship with us, who makes us aware we are Children of God who live and move and have our being. No longing afraid of death, no longer unaware of God’s love, free to discover a peace that surpassed understanding and a joy that flows from a deep sense of belonging to God and others.
Many of us started life baptized whether Catholic or Protestant. Many of us felt like we did not belong in the churches we were first a part of. Nor did the people make us feel welcome. We left those places but still hungered for God. So we went elsewhere. Some of us were able to satisfy some of this spiritual hunger through Yoga or practicing Reiki, and still others Buddhism. Some of us attended any number of Christian based churches and still felt something was missing. Eventually we moved on and now don’t do anything. I am convinced God’s got a plan and a purpose and has led you and I here to become part of this reemerging Christian community.
I want to invite you to share your faith journey in our comments section and let us know where your quest for spiritual satisfaction has taken you?