Thursday, 15 February 2018

Epiphany 5, Psalm 147v1-11, Mark 1v29-39, Where is God?

Where is God? 
We usually cannot see God directly. In the bible people hide their faces because to see God 
is too much. So Moses is veiled when he comes down from the mountain with the ten 
commandments, and the disciples shield their faces at the transfiguration. We usually see or 
experience God indirectly. 
When I was studying theology I had to study the three great proofs for the existence of God. 
 These are: 
1) The proof from design 
2) The proof from the Prime mover 
3) The Ontological argument 
We can deduce that God is often seen and experienced in creation. 

But God is also experienced In and through people. We experience God in other people. 
1. In wisdom. Real wisdom is eternal and across cultures and the Old Testament is 
a fount of wisdom. Some of the books are also called Wisdom texts. Jesus words 
are deep wisdom. 
2. In miracles. Out of the ordinary experiences we cannot explain. 
3. In kindness. Sometimes peoples kindness is extraordinary. God uses us when 
we are kind. We become an extention of Gods divine nature. We become Gods 
agent on earth. (car) 
4. In acts of justice. (Sean Mcdonnagh). 

2. What is God like? 
1. A man with a beard?? 
2. A mother hen? Luke 13v34 
3. A shepherd? Psalm 23 
4. A woman? The name of God in Hebrew is beyong gnder. Gender neutral Elohim 
is plural denoting the plurality of God. Numbers 11.15. 
5. A dj? faithless has a song about god being like a dj. 
https://youtu.be/bhSB8EEnCAM 
6. A father? there are many reference to god being like a father in the new 
testament. the prodigal son is the best example. luke 15 
7. A landowner Also to God being like a landowner. Matt 21v33. 
8. A farmer? Matt 13. 
9. Surprises? A god of surprises! 
Youtube  https://youtu.be/RKr-U1r1AlM 

Psalm 147 is part of the great doxology, giving glory to God. Early in the passage the psalmist focusses on the qualities of God, his commands, his 
trustworthy and faithfulness to his/her people especially when they are in trouble. God or 
Yahweh is in command. Gods strength is not in horses/the military/ nuclear arsenal. 
First of all we are encouraged to thank and praise God. And Psalm 147 gives us reasons 
why it is good to praise God. The psalm is written to a people who are in exile when the 
temple in Jerusalem was being rebuilt. 
Our God, Yahweh is a God of healing, creative, and understanding, supporting the poor, 
defeating the wicked, gathering outcasts, sustaining us. 
We are reminded as Gods people to sing again with thanksgiving then God will delight in us. 
The whole psalm is in three sections and focuses on firstly the Lord building up the city with 
healing and restoration: secondly on thanksgiving and sustenance: lastly the psalm returns 
to Jerusalem but with an emphasis on God’s word spoken to his people.

Mark 
This is the second healing story in Mark. The sickness of Peters mother in law is not 
because of evil spirits. simply something that makes her confined to her bed. renders her 
powerless. Jesus raises her/ lifts her up, the same word as used in the resurrection. He 
doesn’t say anything, simply takes her by the hand and the fever leaves her. 
Touch is important- it can be both incredible healing and incredible damaging- we need to 
do it right. Serving is important. More important than keeping rules. Grateful serving was 
more important than legalism. 
Healing happens where 2 or 3 people are together, are gathered: in the synagogue, in a 
house, in Galilee, throughout the world. 
Jesus doesn’t say anything he simply “came”, “took her hand” and “lifted her up”. We 
often spend loads of time and energy trying to find the right words when what is needed is 
simply to show up and hold someone’s hand 
We have many people suffering from dis-ease, are we willing to sit with them and be with 
them when they are ill or suffering? (Edwige) 
Women in the gospel tend to “get it” long before the men. 
So in summary our God is a God we see in creation, a God who sustains us, a God of 
justice and restoration, a God of healing, who often surprises us and is seen in small but 
significant acts of kindness. 
So each day look at some part of Gods creation and give thanks and do at least one act 
of kindness to someone. In turn you will be blessed

Lent

Lent

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