A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Why Does God Hide?

Sheridan Voysey, speaker and author, is one of my favorite bloggers. I like Sheridan because he speaks a refreshing word to people who question God's existence and to believers who struggle with doubts in their faith. Unlike Christian apologists who try to use carefully worded arguments to somehow prove that God exists, Sheridan takes a more biblical approach which highlights hints of God's presence that point us to the reality of God at work in the world.

For some, these hints of God's presence lead to a vital faith while for others, these hints are way too subtle for their liking.  Sheridan reminds us that God doesn't force us into belief. Instead we are left with hints here and there - an unexpected gorgeous sunset, some grave clothes rolled up in an empty tomb, the reading of a psalm that mysteriously calms a man in a nursing home who has been very agitated, a sense of peace for a nervous preacher who is about to preach an important sermon in front of TV cameras, a toddler who lays out two shoes strings on the floor in the form of a cross that helps his father know that everything will be OK, and a pillar of fire providing just enough light for the Israelites to travel by night through the wilderness just to name a few that come to mind.

In a recent podcast which is a sermon he preached at a church in Oxford, England, Sheridan explores the topic, "Why Does God Hide." Below is a short description:

Why is God invisible? Why doesn’t he ‘appear’ in front of us? Even when he does appear, as he did plenty of times to the Israelites, he comes disguised as a pillar of cloud, a whisper, or a burning bush. Even Jesus – God in human form – wasn’t instantly recognisable after his resurrection. Why is so God hidden? In short, God hides so we will seek him. He scatters a trail of breadcrumbs, enticing us to discover who scattered them.

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