A MINISTER’S MUSINGS…………………………………………….ON GOD
During the month of November, I am meeting with four young people who are exploring the possibility of becoming members of Central United. It is a privilege to be with them. They are deepening my faith with their wisdom and their powerful questions.
You might like to have a “snapshot” glimpse of what we are discussing. Let’s start with the matter of God. Talking about God is a daunting undertaking and there are truly no human words that can capture all of the immensity of God, however, here are five basic things that the United Church believes about God.
- There is only one God and that God is the Creator of the universe, the earth and everyone on the earth. All things come from God, even down to the tiniest molecular cells in our bodies. God is the first force of creation.
- We, as human beings, are co-creators with God. God’s creation is still on going and we are a part of it. We are given the opportunity, as human beings, to procreate and to bring to life another human being. We, as human beings, use our inquiring minds to create wondrous inventions to advance civilization (although I am not so sure about the Internet!). We, as human beings, have control of the earth (check out Genesis, the first book of the Bible) and because we do, we are instructed to take very good care of God’s creation. It is within our capabilities to destroy the earth and, therefore, we must be good stewards of it, taking care of what God has given to us. That is why the United Church is so heavily involved in environmental issues. We take very seriously our work as co-creators with God.
- God is neither male or female. God is beyond any words we can ever use to describe God. Yes, we most often refer to God in the male gender, but God can be referenced equally as often in the female gender. In fact, Jesus himself does that when he describes God “as a mother hen brooding over her baby chicks.” There are actually no human words that adequately describe the wonder, the awe and the mystery of God. We will spend all of our lives seeking to capture the essence of God in inadequate human words.
- Our God is a God of love. God wants the best for us as peoples of the earth. God loves us unconditionally, even when we miss the mark and get lost on our journey of life. God is always calling us into relationship with him (or her!) and always forgives us.
- There are many paths to God. The Christian path is one of the ways, but it is not the only way. Since we believe that God has created everything on this earth, then God must have loved diversity and created that diversity. The United Church recognizes this diversity and seeks to honour the faith of other religious groups. We are often involved in inter-faith dialogue with Jews, Muslims and others. We, as Christians, are witnesses to the resurrection and know that this is the path for us. However, it is not necessarily the path for everyone. We are called to respect diversity because otherwise the world will be in a constant state of war. The United Church is not so much concerned about “conversion” as it is about “conversation” with others about their faith.
There is so much more about God to explore and discover. Our young people are on that journey. Please hold them in your prayers as they learn and grow. On December 2nd, they shall make a public profession of their faith before the congregation on the path to becoming members of Central United.