Wednesday, November 21, 2007

where is God in our world today?

email just in about an upcoming Christian event: “and most importantly we are amped about spending extended time in the presence of our amazing God.”

Can I spend extended time in the presence of God without going? What does this say about returning home, that I will be going back to a lesser place with less time to spend with God?

Or am I being grumpy and pedantic? Do words really matter?

Where is God most likely to be in our world today anyhow?

Posted by steve at 10:20 AM


  1. Steve

    In the same vein, driving home today I saw the sign outside a church “Come around to my house at 7pm – God”. Which has some positives, but made me think about the assumption that ‘God’s house’ is a church. And isn’t more like “I’ll see you are your house everyday – God”.

    In the end I don’t think that the words actually matter. But what they do revel our underlying assumptions… that God’s presence is something we create via special programs, that God lives in a church building. That this, what some would call sub conscious assumptions are very powerful (and not very accurate in these cases)

    Comment by david whyte — November 23, 2007 @ 8:37 pm

  2. As the person who wrote the above email, I wanted to say that you are right… we (as soul survivor) and myself (as the one writing the e-newsletter) need to be far more careful with the language that we use and what can be implied. Our intention was to say that it is great to occasionally take extended time away from the normal demands and distractions of life to focus more fully on Jesus. But I didnt make that clear enough.

    I am impressed with how much you have managed to read in to that sentence! I hope that we have not communicated what your questions are implying, though sadly I suspect we have and it is certainly not what we want to communicate. I hope that at the festival the young people attending will be encouraged to look for Jesus in every area of life, particularly outside of the “event”.

    Flick us an email anytime if you have any concerns of suggestions in the way that we communicate things, it will always be much appreciated.

    Thanks for your thoughts Steve

    Comment by sam — November 23, 2007 @ 8:56 pm

  3. You said it. God is with us everywhere we go. In fact when we go to the most unlikely places in the world we find he is already there. I am sick of the hype that is expressed in the quote “amped about spending extended time in the presence of our amazing God.”
    When I first arrived in Guayaquil 9 years ago I went around asking myself the question “where is God?” Sure I found him as believers met to worship. But more than anything I found God in the grace and kindness shown to us by others: missos who shared their house with us for 3 months, hugs from my kids, a drunk who put his own life in danger to stop the traffic when the buggy my son was in fell apart in mid street, the woman who translated for us at the kindergarten, offers of hospitality. These acts of kindness are just that – human. Yet they speak of a designer who is supremely kind. They are also incongruous with an age and city that was dehumanizing, violent, selfish – tainted by sin & depravity. Why do people choose to be kind when they can be selfish? It is God’s image in them, whether they choose to believe in him or not it is undeniably his trademark.

    Comment by nigel — November 23, 2007 @ 9:03 pm

  4. ” . . . that God’s presence is something we create via special programs, that God lives in a church building . . . ”

    Wasn’t this idea what the Israelites thought about their temple?

    Are we making the same mistakes they made? Can we ever learn from history???

    Comment by wokboy — November 24, 2007 @ 10:22 pm

  5. Well, I for one think you are being slightly pedantic. There is precedent in the bible for understanding the difference between the fact that God is always with us, and that he is with us at particular moment. Like how Adam ‘walked with God’ in the evening – implying that at other times they weren’t together in the same sense. Or “where two or three are gathered, there I will be in their midst”. Of course it is good to remind ourselves that God is ALWAYS with us, in the sense that he is everywhere at all times and in the sense that he never leaves us. But if we worry TOO much about semantics then we can end up not being able to say anything.

    And I totally believe that there are special times with God when we choose to lay aside other things and just spend time with Him. He loves that, honours that. And of course we can do that in our own homes or wherever, but there is something particularly precious in the collective.

    Comment by Sharyn — November 25, 2007 @ 4:41 pm

  6. I was so pleased to read Nigel’s comment. Thank you.
    I’m leading our church service for the first time this Sunday. It all-age worship for Advent. I’ve got all the youngsters making prayers of the difference we want the coming Christ to make in the world. Then I’ve approached the older people to come up with evidence of Christ in us; the difference personally, what we see in those we know, in others near and far. I have to say the adults have not given me the abundance of examples I hoped for and this service is advertised to attract newcomers. I really want to encourage and inspire people to believe in their potential, i.e. made in the image of God. I would love to inspire confidence in the difference God has and is making in the world. Please pray for us. Thank you

    Comment by Gill — December 4, 2007 @ 10:15 am

  7. Hope it goes really well Gill. Great to see your heart to bring young and old together.

    steve taylor

    Comment by steve — December 4, 2007 @ 1:49 pm

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