August 16, 2017

It’s a Mystery

August 15, 2017

Daily Reading (Click to read each Scripture)
Genesis 39:1-23
Romans 9:14-29
Psalm 28
This week’s sermon text: Romans 2:17-29

Field Notes
How does God make decisions? That is the question. And the answer is we are created and he is the Creator. So, why even bother to ask the question? I suppose because we are human. We want to know why things happen to some and not to others. Why are some people gifted and blessed; and why the rest of us are just ordinary? Verse 21: Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?

This text reminds me so much of the Book of Job. Job, seemingly blameless, suffers terribly. But God is not arbitrary. God is in charge; has a plan and a purpose. The story of Job may make us a bit uncomfortable; but ours is not the full picture; the divine orchestration. Ours is a tiny glimpse here and there in an extraordinary moment when the ‘veil is lifted’.

So, can we ask God ‘why’? Can we ask to ‘see clearly’? Dare we? Yes, we do dare! In “Why, Understanding The Will of God,” Adam Hamilton presents 4 very powerful in-depth chapters: Why do the innocent suffer; Why do my prayers go unanswered; Why can’t I see God’s will for my life; and Why God’s love prevails.

Leslie Weatherhead’s “The Will of God” is considered a classic for good reason.
During the tumultuous era of World War II, the city of London shattered under unrelenting bombs dropped by Nazi Germany. Millions of buildings were destroyed or damaged, tens of thousands of civilians were killed, and survivors were left to ask: How can this destruction be part of God’s plan? What is God’s will in all of this?

After City Temple in London was reduced to rubble, Rev. Leslie Weatherhead crafted five sermons on understanding the will of God to help his congregation endure religious doubt as their city-and church-crumbled around them.

While I can’t begin to understand the workings of God, I can be a seeker of Jesus; one who asks to be shown the way God would have me go; and one who journeys alongside those companions I have been given.

Questions for the Field

  • If you could ask God anything, what would the question be?
  • Why is the answer important to you? What might it tell you about God, about yourself, about a specific set of circumstances?

Family Field Talk
How and why are very useful questions. Look for times during the coming week where these questions are fun to ask: for example, how do thunderclouds form? Why are they important? Why do they most often happen during summer months? What specific purpose do they serve? See if you can identify the facts and a bit of faith.

Prayer Guide
Holy God, help me to find your presence in all my questions. Let me live my questions, making room for your magnificence and mystery. When there is suffering, show me how to be your arms and shoulders for others; sharing in their brokenness and holding them up until they can stand. Your purpose for me is clearly grounded in my love for you and for my neighbor. Amen.