Thursday, March 22, 2007

Where Does God's Love and Power End?

Where does God's love and power end? Does it end with a certain leader? Does it stop before it gets to people who do not share our politics? Are people who don't worship like I do or believe what I do beyond the pale ... beyond God's power and love?

I ask these questions because I fear there are many people in church and other faith groups today who believe that there are such limits to God's love and power.

I remember being approached by a lady in my former parish who was extremely challenged by the thoughts I expressed in my sermons and in discussions. For example, in a discussion with her I said I wouldn't be surprised to meet a Buddhist in heaven. She was apparently very shocked by this and wrote to the Bishop complaining that as a Christian minister I should not have express such a thought. She also was upset that in my sermons I expressed my belief in God's love and acceptance of homosexuals. She went so far as to tell the Bishop that I had been ordered by the Vestry not to express such thoughts about homosexuality in my sermons any more. She finally said that she had never heard me preach the Good News of Jesus Christ.

This certainly gave me a great deal to reflect on and pray about. I certainly hope the individual sitting just beside this lady in church and whose spouse was Buddhist heard the good news in my message. I also hope that the gay couple who recently joined the church was able to find the good news in the message I believe God gave me for that day.

I wonder if two people can hear the Gospel message differently as they did in our Lord’s day. Is it possible for one person to hear the Good News and for another to find it threatening because it calls upon them to change some behaviour or attitude? Could it be that this lady felt uncomfortable because some core part of my message had called upon her to realize that her views were not necessarily God’s views?

Sadly, I don't think this lady with her dislike of my theology and beliefs about God sits alone in our faith groups. I fear there are many others out there in our faith communities who believe it is their duty to express an opinion about who God can love and how God can love.

My prayer is that one day this lady, a preci0us child of God will discover the true Good News of God, that the Creator loves recklessly and generously. God's love even extends to her and to me as we are all children of the Holy One.


Jesus, who has been sitting next to you as you read this now turns to you and asks: “What do you think? How will you respond?

God"s love is for all creation

God"s love is for all creation
God has many names