A Congregation of Conservative Evangelical Christians

SERMON: October 15th, 2017 “What Does God Look Like?”

Pastor Dave Sarsons
October 16, 2017

SERMON: October 15th, 2017 “What Does God Look Like?”

Today Pastor Dave talked about Father Damien of the island Molokai where Father Damien choose to serve 700 lepers.  When Father Damien got to the island he was faced with a Sodom and Gomorrah where there was social, physical and spiritual devastation.  Here would have been the question, where is God?  God is with us.  We are all going to die one day, as Father Damien did from leprosy in 1885.  We have to decide whether or not we are going to live for God as Father Damien did, or are we going to live for the world?  God called Father Damien to such a ministry as He will call us to use us in whatever manner He wishes.  He calls to our hearts, He is not always a talker to our ears or to our logic.   Our God is not a god that does not know our suffering.  And as John R.W. Stott says, “I could never myself believe in God, if it were not for the cross. The only God I believe in is the One Nietzsche ridiculed as ‘God on the cross.’ In the real world of pain, how could one worship a God who was immune to it? I have entered many Buddhist temples in different Asian countries and stood respectfully before the statue of the Buddha, his legs crossed, arms folded, eyes closed, the ghost of a smile playing round his mouth, a remote look on his face, detached from the agonies of the world. But each time after a while I have had to turn away. And in imagination I have turned instead to that lonely, twisted, tortured figure on the cross, nails through hands and feet, back lacerated, limbs wrenched, brow bleeding from thorn-pricks, mouth dry and intolerably thirsty, plunged in Godforsaken darkness. That is the God for me! He laid aside his immunity to pain. He entered our world of flesh and blood, tears and death. He suffered for us. Our sufferings become more manageable in the light of his. There is still a question mark against human suffering, but over it we boldly stamp another mark, the cross that symbolizes divine suffering. ‘The cross of Christ … is God’s only self-justification in such a world” as ours….’ ‘The other gods were strong; but thou wast weak; they rode, but thou didst stumble to a throne; But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak, And not a god has wounds, but thou alone.”

1 Corinthians 12:27 “You are Christ’s body—that’s who you are! You must never forget this. Only as you accept your part of that body does your “part” mean anything.” (The Message)

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