7/26/98, P8C

“Crying Out To God”
Luke 11: 1-13

here was a great cover story in the July 20th “NEWSWEEK” entitled “Science Finds God.” Here is an excerpt: “The achievements of modern science seem to contradict religion and undermine faith. But for a growing number of scientists, the same discoveries offer support for spirituality and hints of the very nature of God. 40 % of American scientists believe in a personal God --- not merely an ineffable power and presence in the world, but a deity to whom they can pray.”

The issue with believing in God is not so much whether or not there is a God, but whether he can do anything--- does God matter? Over 90 % of Americans believe in God, but far fewer believe that he can change things. Although God has set this world in motion and it is operating on principles of the mathematical order, what we call “nature,” scientists who are open to it can often see signs of God’s hand in human situations.

It is my simplistic notion that if we can believe in any one element of the miraculous, then we can believe it all. If we can affirm the first four words of the Bible, thus plugging into a world beyond absolute reason, then we can believe the book--- “In the beginning God...,” pretty much says it. If we can subjectively allow for God existence, beyond proof, can’t we then assume that he is involved in our realm.

Although there is no final proof, there is much evidence that points toward proof: and collectively almost becomes proof. Science sees this. Indeed, a study of science is a study of the divine: It is delving into the very nature of him who “flung the stars into space.”

We are all intrigued with the unfathomable magnitude and minute size of God’s creation. Joel Primack, an astrophysicist at the University of California, points out that he receives inspiration by noting that the largest size of the universe is a 10 with 29 zeroes after it (in centimeters). Likewise, the very tiniest size of anything in the subatomic world is a 10 with 24 zeroes after it (and a decimal in front of it); thus, our everyday realm is right in the privileged middle. Dr. Primack describes this as “a soul satisfying cosmology.” (Newsweek, p. 50).

Dr. Scott Peck, beloved best selling contemporary author of the “Road Less Traveled” books, says, “You are a Playful God... As soon as I think I have obtained a handle on your creation, You instantly come along and ask, ‘But what about this Scotty?’ (But) In the end all things point to God.” (“The Road Less Traveled, And Beyond,” Touchstone, 1997).

You see, for most of us our real awareness of God comes, not so much from the objective but from the soul. It’s great to know that many true scientists believe, and have evidence to substantiate faith, but for 99% of the rest of us, we lead with intuition: “He Lives because we know He Lives in our hearts.” We feel the magic; or we should say, the majesty!

A little girl was painting a picture in Vacation Bible School. Her teacher asked her what she was painting a picture of. “It’s a picture of God!” “But honey nobody knows what God looks like because nobody has ever actually seen him.” Said the teacher. “But, they will when I finish my picture.” Said the child.

That’s about as profound as I can get. I know he is real because he has walked with me so long. He is my: friend, helper, counselor, guide. He has worked so many amazing things out for me. I feel his hand daily in my life. He has never failed me. He is my personal God.

I was taught this by may parents. I saw it at work in their lives, but I had to take ownership of it by faith and make it my own. It is said that “God has no grandchildren, only children.” In other words, each of us must allow him to be our own Father.

I grew up hearing our family's story of how God saved my Dad’s life when I was just an infant. He had developed his second case of the killer disease Rheumatic Fever. Nobody survived a second case, but the elders of the church came to the hospital and prayer for my Dad’s healing, and his life was spared. Also, physicians had just begun to inject massive doses of penicillin into Rheumatic Fever patients, and that must have helped, but my family always gave credit to God, who stepped in--- with penicillin and prayer.

A dozen years later I was standing with my mother at the washing machine when she discovered blood in her undergarment. This led to a radical mastectomy, weeks of radiation and months of prevailing prayer. Mother celebrates her 90th birthday next Sunday, she lives alone and drives her Buick most days.

These two stories may be just wild tales to you, but to me they have meant the world for without them I would have not had my Mom and Dad. And primarily, I would not have been the recipient of such a precious legacy of faith. Yet, even with this royal blood running through my soul, I had to humbly accept it for my own. For years I prayed as one who was somehow selected and secure because of my heritage, but knew that I was a foreigner to the Covenant. Then on a rainy Sunday afternoon in a cold college dormitory room I came to the end of myself and cried out to God to come and be my own. I had viewed him as a distant observer, but in that experience, and still just now, I know him as an inner presence. I can say that through the trials and tribulations that befall us all, and through the glory too, My Heavenly Father has never failed me. Sure, I have at time forgotten that I am a coheir with Christ and a child of the King, but He has never failed to pick me up. Astonishing things have happened along the way. I have felt his presence so unmistakably real at times. I have faced my Calvary, and He has been with me.

Isn’t this what the Apostles were asking Jesus when they said, “Lord, teach us to pray...”? We have seen you in communion with our Father God, how can we get tuned into his wavelink so that we can also talk with him?

a sermon synopsis by C. Robert Allred, Th.D., Pastor

7/26/98, P8C