For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. ~ John 3:16
I’ve read it perhaps hundreds of times. Heard it read probably hundreds more. So why, when I hear the scripture for the day spoken in 6 languages, am I mesmerized? When it is completed with “The word of God for the people of God” and we reply, “Thanks be to God,” why am I reduced to tears? (to listen, click here)
Perhaps because it helps me imagine the miracle of Pentecost. (Acts 2: 1-8) I’ve always been intrigued by the events of that day. When a bunch of folks from podunk Galilee were licked by “tongues of fire” and suddenly started speaking in other peoples’ languages.
I’m one of those whoa! how did God do that? kind of Christians. You know, the kind that asks questions like, did He actually cause them to speak in new languages? Or did he change the ears of the listeners so they could hear it in their own language? Did the disciples know they were speaking in new languages? If so, did it surprise them? Or did the the author of the Book of Acts just make all this up because it was a cool story and a nice reversal of what happened at the tower of Babel?
I’m a question-asker. So, when someone else (like my Pastor) asks a question, it gets me wondering how I would answer. During worship Tom asked us to fill in the blank:
“I am a Christian because…….”
Now, Tom expanded a bit on this …as Tom will. He seemed to break it down into:
- I came to know Christ in __________.
- I continue in Christ because __________.
- I’m sustained in Christ by __________.
Funny how talking about God seems to happen over time and in three parts. Perhaps this speaks to me because I find that my faith in Christ is a moving target, a dynamic organism. This may also be because I am a question-asker. I’m never quite satisfied with the answer. There is always another question. Perhaps that’s my native tongue – Query. But here goes.
- I came to know Christ in the company of fellow Disciple Bible study class members who honestly welcomed the questions I brought to the faith which I did not yet know.
- I continue in Christ because my daily life is a constant reminder that I need saving, and try as I might, I can’t do that for myself. ‘Saved’ does not feel safe or finished.
- I am sustained in Christ by my experience in devotions, in Bible study, in serving and in worship where God continuously makes Himself known. It’s like a perpetual game of hide and seek where I’m always “it” and He lets me find Him every time.
God knows I love a good game and a good Q and A session.
Someone once told me that when a teacher or lecturer asks, “Are there any questions?” that’s really code for “I want to move on to the next topic.” Funny, huh? I find a lot of truth there, having spent some years as a teacher. I suspect God would probably rather say to me, “Wendy, we need to move on” but instead He is infinitely patient in offering to show me …again.
He’s probably waiting for the lightbulb over my head to come on. We have come such a long way since fire.