Tag Archive: belief

Looking for a Sign

Every Sunday I find myself opening my eyes and looking up during prayer time.

Why do I do this?

Well, for years I have taken a look around when I am supposed to have my head bent and eyes shut.

Image by Eduardo

Image by Eduardo

Right after we share our joys and concerns and go into prayer, I am hoping for something that might be a glimpse of something glorified, something rare and beautiful.

I am hoping for a glimpse of God, Jesus or maybe just an angel.

We used to have a member at the church who drove me crazy. He prayed the loudest and always a half step in front of everyone when we did the Lord’s Prayer. The man was a sanctimonious ass, an uncompassionate Christian who made the other Christians look bad. And his goal was to never bring you into God’s love but to let you know he was a better Christian than anyone else.

That member bothered me because the Lord’s Prayer is one of the few times all members of the congregation are in lock step with each other, when they can take a minute to repeat a prayer and be in synch. We need to be able to do that, to know that there can be a moment when all are joined in worship of the same God.

But before we start that, when the pastor or lay speaker is giving up the joys and concerns, I open my eyes and look around. I want a glimpse, I want to see, I might still be looking for proof. I want to see what the glory looks like.

Image from Morguefile.com

Image from Morguefile.com

And I do not have to push anyone out of the way to make that effort.

Will I ever see God while I live here on Earth? Some days I think so when I see the beauty of hoarfrost or a blooming rose or kids just running around being kids. I see it in the beams of light that come through the clouds towards the end of a day.

When I try to explore the metaphysical world, I see a man who looks like Jesus in his European form. I once saw a picture of Jesus with more Mid-East features and thought that man looked beautiful as well. But I have not seen them at church or during a prayer time.

Still, at each prayer I take a moment to look and see if I can find him.

You never know, one of these days, I just might.

How do you try to find God?


Let’s Make a Deal

A few weeks ago “Glee” chose to explore religious belief.

Can you see the eyes? Picture by Click.

The Holy Cheesus.

Sure, we have all seen those stains and images that could look like Jesus or the Virgin Mary. But how many of us have done exactly what Finn did in that episode – made deals with God for the thing we want most to happen.

“If my child gets well, I will make a large donation to the church.”

“If the surgery goes well, I will believe in you.”

“If we win the football game, I will honor you.”

Sound familiar?

I know I have been there, willing to make a deal. On the other hand, I am frustrated to hear people act as if God/Jesus are like Santa. Believe and you will get all that you desire. Rewards shall rain down upon you as they did Job after his trials.

I realize that scripture states that if we believe, truly believe, in Jesus and God we will be rewarded ten fold. We will be rewarded for faith given. But at what point do we believe in God because we just know he is there? Why must our belief be motivated by something other than total faith? Why do some people need fear or greed to make them realize earthly riches, while nice, are not the totality of riches.

I am not sure what Finn actually learned during his week of miracles. Getting to feel up his girlfriend or winning back his spot on the football team will have some short term gains. I wish that Emma could have made him understand that Jesus was there on that sandwich but it was for more than to realize his greatest dreams of the moment. It was a reach-out effort that could have lead to greater faith, greater depth of character.

Let’s be honest. Finn is a good guy but he has a shallow character. He lives in the moment for the most part, just as most of us do. But religious belief asks for something more. It is a living, breathing way of thinking and doing on a daily – moment by moment sometimes – basis.

Do unto others as you would want them to do for you.

Be a willing giver.

Give without others knowing who is the giver.

Is he reflected in your heart? Picture by Alex Lobo

What a good Christian that must be to give without letting others know what you do. Most of us want credit. We want assurance that while we have accepted Jesus in our hearts, and we know we were saved,  future sins will not land us in Hell. Living blameless lives after being saved is difficult, an endless tightrope.

We want people to know how we live our faith so we announce it and proclaim it. Maybe it is on your neck or your car but is it in your heart? Do your actions all week let people know you are a christian?

They will know we are Christians by our love.

Convert as many people as possible, use words if neccessary.

Funny thing is, Finn lives these words, these various maxims, in his character. But he has never declared himself as Christian or Jew, Protestant or Catholic. Perhaps what he really needs to declare is his belief. And that is what the Holy Cheesus was trying for all along.

What do you think is the message that Finn missed?