Tag Archive: story


Warts and All

WARTS AND ALL

One of the great things about God’s word is that it includes our whole history, warts and all. There’s Peter’s denial of ever knowing Jesus, Peter and Paul’s argument over the inclusion of Gentiles into Christian fellowship, and there are the Old Testament patriarchs of the faith.

As we look at Abraham, his faith in following God to the unknown, his compassion for even Sodom, his willingness to sacrifice his only son on a deadly altar, it is easy to come to the conclusion that Abraham had a faith that we could never have. Even God could not encourage us to a point in our faith that we could be like Abraham. However, Abraham was as warty as any of us.

For instance, Abraham one time lived near a powerful king named Abimelech. Without asking God, Abraham announced to the world that Sarah was his sister, because he did not want to be killed by Abimelech for possession of his wife–for the king could not take another man’s wife. God had to step in and save Sarah through a dream He sent to Abimelech. The king was not happy.

Another error of judgment came when God was too slow, in the eyes of Sarah and Abraham, in sending her a son. At Sarah’t request, Abraham took Hagar (Sarah’s slave) and had a son, Ishmael, by her. That resulted in all sorts of dysfunctional family problems for years! Again, Abraham had followed his own wisdom instead of seeking God’s advice.

Why bring up the warts? None of us wants to brag about the goof-ups we have committed. I bring up what I call Abraham’s warts because they demonstrate that God does not choose us because of our goodness. None of us is good enough for God to choose; none of us has a perfect faith–not even Abraham. We struggle with doubt and mis-steps just like Abraham. Our faith, given to us by God to exercise, shines one day and struggles the next. We are loved and chosen by God just because He wants to do it. He loves us and chooses us, warts and all.

sue wilson

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Both Eyes Open

Well known atheist, speaker, documentary producer, and author, Christopher Hitchens died last year. His last book has been published and part of the description found on Amazon reads, “Throughout the course of his ordeal battling esophageal cancer, Hitchens adamantly and bravely refused the solace of religion, preferring to confront death with both eyes open.”

Those who gladly claim the name “atheist” (such as Mr Hitchens) and most unbelievers who find it necessary to belittle religion, sincerely think that religious people can’t see with “both eyes open.”  We Christians (although they would include those of any religious faith) are duped into believing the unbelievable. The Bible is nonsensical to the atheist, and he or she hopes to convince religious friends that faith is a rejection of fact, science, and common sense.

That could not be further from the truth. We follow a God who has left His Story for us. Most of it was written by first hand witnesses–especially the story of God’s Son. It is true that Christians do not walk by sight alone, but our faith is the most logical of paths. Can man save himself? No. Can the perfect God find a way of salvation and eternal life with Him? Yes. Is there evidence of His existence? St Paul said in Romans concerning the non-recognition of God:

“…what may be known of God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made [every part of nature], so that men are without excuse.”

In addition to the miraculous nature that surrounds us, we have God’s word–His Story–in which He reveals Himself and His nature to us.

Mr. Hitchens believed that he faced death with both eyes open, but they were focused on the unreal, not the real.  Christians walk toward the end of their lives with both eyes truly open. What will we see? As St. Stephen said as he died under the stones thrown by his enemies, “Look, I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

As our pastors prepare to help us through “The Story”, I hope that you are already digging into the story of God and His love for us.

Sue Wilson

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