Recognizing God

“People see God every day, they just don’t recognize him.”

Pearl Bailey, American Singer and Actor

Once Jesus was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God was coming, and he answered, “The kingdom of God is not coming with things that can be observed; nor will they say, ‘Look, here it is!’ or ‘There it is!’ For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.”

Luke 17:20-21

What does God look like? Is God an ancient man with a white beard, or a powerful Goddess standing tall, or a ray of light, or …? Take a minute to jot down all the images that come to your mind. Now let them go and reflect on what Jesus told the Pharisees, “For, in fact, the kingdom of God is among you.” That signals that God is action, not a fixed entity. It implies that God reveals Godself most unmistakably through our thoughts and efforts and what we see in the world around us. The Pharisees liked rules—a lot. They wanted to know exactly what to do and when and how to do it so they could be right with God. They wanted Jesus to give them a concrete answer to their crucial question. Instead, he gave them a typical Jesus answer. It’s a process he said. You have to pay attention he insisted. And most of all, he pressed, you’re accountable for what you think and what you do. It produces results you know!

What an order we might exclaim. That’s too hard. Just give me a picture, a statue, or a set of regulations. Jesus blew that all out of the water. He was clear that people are too precious to be imprisoned in such a small unforgiving space. We deserve relationship and the flowing current of creativity and love. We need feeling and action, life and hope. So how do you recognize that God that you see every day? Look for kindness, connection, aliveness, the wonder of growth, and the determination to do good. Listen to the still, small voice within your own heart. Look into the faces of those around you and see the “smize’s”—the smiling eyes, above the masks. Then you’ll know what Jesus was talking about. It’s true. The kingdom of God is right here. It’s right here with us.

In the Love and Light of the Christ,

Rev. Anna


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