Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Looking for God where He is not

"Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,

but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1).
Those words were written nearly two thousand years ago, and though most Christians in America will tell you they are "Bible-believing," how many wish for (or manufacture their own) "signs" and "wisdom"?

It is human nature to want something spectacular, dramatic, or unique as evidence of God's reality.

In doing that, we look for God where He is not.

Jesus spoke of a man who found too late that hell is real. That man begged for a warning to be sent to his brothers so that they would avoid the same torment. What was the answer he received? "If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if [S]omeone rises from the dead" (Luke 16).

God has chosen to work through (apparently) simple, common means to reveal Himself to us.

One very real but unremarkable flesh-and-bone Man spoke the words of YHWH. He performed the miraculous and committed no sin. He suffered humiliation and death at the hands of evil men. Then He rose from the dead.

God still performs miracles. The only problem for us is, we don't see it.

The Word spoken and read. The Word with the water. The Word in, with, and under the bread and wine, His body and blood.

In Baptism -- the work of God, not of men -- He washes away our sins, gives us faith and the Holy Spirit, makes us His children, and unites us with Christ into His death and resurrection.

Baptism saves, even infants.

And God provides us analogies of His grace in this world He created.

A little, chubby six-month-old wakes up in the middle of the night, eyes shut hard, mouth wide open, arm outstretched, letting out a desperate little wail.

All the time, her papa tenderly carries her to her mother who waits patiently to give her all the nourishment her little tummy one can hold.

Does not God laugh at us?

If you're looking for the miraculous,
If you're looking for the grace of God,
If you want to know that God really is here and that He loves you very much,

You'll find Him in Christ.
You'll find Him in His Word.
You'll find Him in the waters of Baptism and in His Body and Blood.

You'll find Him in your little one crying for a midnight snack.