Searching . . .

“. . . really wanted to find God . . .”

photo

“People were so delighted with the beauty of these things that they thought they must be gods, but they should have realized that these things have a master and that he is much greater than all of them, for he is the creator of beauty, and he created them.  Since people are amazed at the power of these things, and how they behave, they ought to learn from them that their maker is far more powerful. When we realize how vast and beautiful the creation is, we are learning about the Creator at the same time. But maybe we are too harsh with these people. After all, they may have really wanted to find God, but couldn’t.” (Wisdom 13:3-6, a book in the Apocrypha of the Old Testament)

This week I was invited by our United Methodist Women’s group to share some of my art (photos) as part of of an art and religion program they were having in their meetings.  I put together a brief slide show but told them I am not an artist.  I’m just a guy with a camera who keeps bumping into the majesty of God and takes a photo.  The writer of the Book of Wisdom included the words above as part of his argument against and warning about nature worship.  It seems there were those in his time who saw a beautiful object of nature and decided to worship it.  They didn’t realize when they encountered the beauty they were bumping into the majesty of God.  Obviously the people were searching for something to fill the void they experienced in their lives.  Unfortunately when they were in their time of need and searching, they stopped too soon.  As the writer indicates, they were searching but gave their spiritual allegiance to the objects created by the Creator instead of the Creator.  They were searching – as all of us are inclined to search from time to time. 

Like many of us, my thoughts are still focused on the events in Boston last week.  My prayers are with everyone involved, the victims and the perpetrators.  With the passing of time we begin to focus on the why . . .  Already we’re hearing that the two young men accused of the crimes were somehow radicalized by someone or some group.  Roughly that means that the two were searching.  They were searching for meaning, purpose, and hope among others.  Unfortunately, in their time of searching they must have fallen into the clutches of someone or some group that was willing to offer them something less than God as the fulfillment of their search.  They offered them hate, vengeance, and maybe even a perverted view of God as an idol to worship and follow. 

People, young and old alike are still searching for meaning, purpose, hope, and peace.  When they search and don’t see in us the love of God at work bringing that meaning, purpose, hope, and peace they will stop short of God and follow the idol presented by those with perverted agendas.  It seems more important than ever that we be sharing God’s love in Christ with others in all we say and do because whether we are aware or not, people are searching.  They’re searching because, like us, they have a deep need.  Sometimes we forget just how deep and powerful that need really is for meaning, purpose, hope, and peace.  Maybe the powerful blasts of these two bombs should remind us of the powerful need we seek to fill, and the catastrophic results when the need is filled with the perverted idols of others instead of the love of God.  I pray that God will keep me aware that vulnerable people are searching, and help me offer them the love of Christ to fill that need.  How about you?

Blessings and Peace,
Gary
Pastor, Cross Lanes United Methodist Church
Cross Lanes, West Virginia

 
Help save lives! For more information on my book, “A Relentless Hope: Surviving the Storm of Teen Depression,” visit http://www.survivingteendepression.com.

My new book, “Wednesday Wonderings: Spiritual Journaling Through a Lens” is available at http://www.wipfandstock.com and http://www.amazon.com.
Check out my video, “Teens Surviving the Storm”
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1hSpxC_G24
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~ by revgenelson on April 24, 2013.

3 Responses to “Searching . . .”

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