We should remember most, more than all the other things we have learned, that God is with us always, anywhere we go, always with us, caring for us, as the creator of heaven and earth, as a parent caring for us, as a teacher guiding us, as a doctor healing us, as our savior redeeming us from sin and death. This is why we should praise God.
God is always with us, all the days of our lives. Each and every one of us. Whether we know it or not. Wherever we go. Right besides us. All of our senses – touching us, being with us when we are afraid, knowing us intimately, hearing us when we call, calling us when we listen, giving us new eyes to see.
We have seen God in so many places, teaching us about how God who is everywhere is also with us, each of us.
On Day 1 In creation - God created everything, from the stars and galaxies, to the invisible laws of gravity, to each one of us, the blades of grass under the tent, the grains of sand on the beach, everything that ever was and all that will ever be. Our God is wonderful! Praise God!
On Day 2 In the Wind - God is watching over us, with us in our trials, when we are scared, feeling the world is out to get us, there with us as he was for Elijah running away from Queen Jezebel who wanted to kill him. God spoke to Elijah from a whisper, reaching his heart, giving him courage and sending him to continue God’s work. Our God is incredible! Praise God!
On Day 3 At the Well - God is with us in troubles, knowing us utterly. That Samaritan woman was getting water at the wrong time of the day, alone at the well. Jesus approaches her and changes her, and her townspeople, because he knows her, offers her salvation, a relationship with God, alive, standing in front of her. She didn’t run away, she ran and spread the good news. Our God is amazing! Praise God!
On Day 4 Healing the blind beggar - God is healing us, hearing our cries to him, stopping, with us, bringing us to him. Our faith, like the blind beggar, healing us. I could really relate to this, since I just had cataract surgery a few weeks ago. Even though I was scared, I had faith in the healing God could make through the hands of the medical staff. I am now cured, better than new. I don’t need glasses in my right eye at all, something I have needed for the last 38 years, or about when Erica got her glasses. Our God is magnificent! Praise God!
On yesterday, Day 5 On the Road to Emmaus - God is calling us to be his disciples, the risen Christ walking beside us, with us always, can you imagine it - God is with us always, all the days of our lives. And sometimes it is in the little things, like sharing a meal together, as we are about to do with Our Family’s Table in September, that we actually see God, when Christ reveals himself to us, in the face of a stranger. Our God is awesome! Praise God!
From before the beginning of time, to the end of the age, God is amazing. He conjured everything from nothing, light from darkness, all that we have ever heard of, all that will be known. But that infinite, all-powerful God knows everything about you and he knows everything about me. Our God is amazing! Praise God!
And, that God who is all-powerful, is all-knowing about all of us. Before we were even born, before we were, God knew us. And he answers our prayers, as we are more than aware this morning. The kids on Friday night and Saturday morning at the end of VBS raised up prayers for Shyanne, their friend, one of them. And she is here this morning in church with us, worshipping with us, praising God with us, because he answered our prayers and she was released from the hospital in less than 24 hours, not the 3 days that we had been told. That is why we should be praising God always, always. He is with us, caring for us, he is amazing.
Reference to: John 4:1-42 Woman at the Well (but don’t read the scripture)
That story of the woman at the well is so important for us, can you picture yourself there. I think I can. Lost, wondering which way to turn, not quite fitting in. Can you sense her anxiety, her sense of not belonging? And here is this man of a different culture who was revealing things that no stranger could know about her.
Christ tells her the most amazing thing, that he is the Messiah, the chosen one, the living God, wanting to have that relationship with her, coming to her, offering to her himself, offering her the living water of the God. And the joyous thing is that she accepted it and shared it with the townspeople, who believed because they too knew God.
In the Methodist faith, we talk about the different kinds of grace. In this story, we find a good example of what John Wesley called prevenient grace. This is the cloud of grace, that ever-present God, wooing us, hoping for us to turn to come to him, to accept his offer. To come to him, and to spread the word as she did, to believe because when she tells us her story, and more importantly, when Christ himself comes to us, telling us he is the Messiah, that he is the way, the truth, the light, that he wants a relationship with us. Then we are like the townspeople who believed first because of her and then because of Christ himself.
This is the offer, of relationship, of redemption, that one-on-one union with our creator, our savior, ever open to us. The beginning and the end, the alpha and the omega, God wants to live with us. Our God is incredible! Praise God!
August 13, 2010
Worship Theme: “Praise God!” (Psalm 150:6)
and sermon, “God is With Us”
by Raymond A. Foss
August 15, 2010
Vacation Bible School Sunday