Epiphany Winter Sermon Series (December 20, 2015-January 30, 2016)
One of the things I find interesting about the way the unbelieving world often characterizes someone who has come to faith is to speak of them as having “found God.” It suggests that the person who has come to faith has, after a long and intentional search, discovered the secret place where God has been hiding. And now, as if in some cosmic game of sardines, he or she will join God in this place and scoot over and make room as other lucky explorers find this secret spot. It paints the picture of a coy God who is waiting for us to get it– Waiting for us to read the clues and discover the holy spot that only the most inquiring minds can find.
Yet as I reflect on my own experience in coming to faith, as I hear the stories of others who are followers of Jesus, and as I read about the experiences of those who are described in the pages of Scripture, I do not see a God who waits for us to find him; I see a God who comes looking for us. The beginning of faith isn’t a matter of finding God, as much as it is the result of being found by God. It is a matter of simply turning around and noticing the One who is pursuing us. Faith doesn’t begin when we find God but when we are found by God.
This is what the Christmas story is all about. As John tells us at the beginning of his Gospel, God chooses to come after us, chooses to become one of us and dwell among us. As Eugene Peterson paraphrases John 1, in Jesus God chooses to “move into our neighborhood.” God finds us and the only thing he waits for us to do is to notice that he is among us.
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