Worship services are live on Facebook every Sunday at 10 AM PDT.
Voices United 415 “God We Praise You for the Morning”
Voices United 282 “Long Before the Night (This Ancient Love)”
Voices United 959 “The Lord’s Prayer”
More Voices 209 “Go Make a Diff’rence”
“Go Now in Peace, Never Be Afraid” (Don Besig/Nancy Price)
Permission to podcast / stream the music in this service obtained from ONE LICENSE, License # A-734863. All rights reserved.
we seek you,
and you reveal yourself to us in surprising ways.
you prepare a place for us,
in the house of our God, Father and Mother of us all,
draw us deeper to you,
and show us the true nature of God,
so that we might emulate it,
and so prepare ourselves.
Holy Spirit of justice and truth,
draw us out of our complacency,
into the fullness of love,
so that we might show the fullness of God to others.
We pray in the name of the Risen Lord, Jesus Christ,
who lives and reigns with God the Creator,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit; one God, now and forever. Amen.
“Believe in . . .”
We can believe in God in the way that we think in our heads that God exists. Liberal theologian Marcus Borg calls this aspect of faith, “Credo,” after the first word of the Latin version of the Apostle’s Creed: Credo in Deum, “I believe in God.” It’s important that, for Borg, this is only one of four aspects of faith.
But when Jesus says, “Believe in God, but also believe in me,” I don’t think he’s using that definition of belief. Of course the disciples believe in him, because he’s right there. Jesus is talking about something much deeper than When you say to a child who’s about to take a test, “I believe in you,” you aren’t saying that you think they exist; you mean something much deeper than that.
And unfortunately too much of our modern discourse about faith and belief comes down to the simple and hollow definition of belief as simply holding the opinion that God exists. That all you have to do to be “saved” is to think that God exists and maybe go to church every once in a while to remind yourself that God exists, and that’s enough.
When we form our opinions, ideally it should be in a context of weighing evidence, paying attention to exprts we trust, keeping an open mind about all possibilities, and being willing to change our opinion based on new evidence. We should be scientific about our opinions. In that context, can you really blame an atheist for saying it’s ridiculous to believe in God? There’s no evidence, the contradictions are too much, so really it’s much more likely that God doesn’t exist.
But that’s not the belief that Jesus is asking of his disciples. And, for me, that isn’t the kind of belief I have in my head when I say “I believe in God.”
For Christians, Jesus is the fullest representation of God, and everything he does reveals to us the nature of God. You cannot say, “Jesus was like this, but God is like this,” because Jesus is like God. If you believe in one, you believe in the other.
Faith is faithfulness to the cause of Jesus—radical inclusivity, unconditional love, sacrifice for the sake of others—it is not affirming a list of doctrines or adhering to a strict set of rules for behaviour. It’s about living your life with that belief in . . . in God and in yourself. Believe in God, because God certainly believes in you.