My pastor at church this morning preached about the magi of Matthew 2. According to my pastor, the star that proclaimed Jesus’ birth was there for everyone to see. The reason that the magi saw it was that they were looking for it. The pastor talked about how we should be on the lookout for God’s presence in the world.
That is a struggle for me. I fear being dogmatic about where God is
in the world, like the Christians who casually claim that “God told”
them such-and-such. At the same time, do I want to go to the other
extreme and to say that I cannot know anything at all about what God is
doing in the world? Can God use events to instruct me and to help my
Christian walk? I think so. To respond to God, one needs to know
something about God. God is not totally hidden, right?
I watched an excellent movie about Christian musician Rich Mullins
last night. I will write about it sometime this coming week. It was a
2014 movie called Ragamuffin. In that movie, the character of
Rich Mullins was talking about not feeling God. He then said that
Christianity is not about feelings, but obedience.
The concept of Christian obedience has long been scary to me. Maybe
that is because I associate it with perfectionism, legalism, or God
mandating that I be something that I am not, as opposed to respecting
where I am. But I should not repudiate the concept of obeying God.
That is something concrete, something to hold on to when the feelings
are not there, something that honors and aims to implement God’s
character. It is respecting the existence of truths, regardless of what
Obedience does not necessarily have to entail immediate
perfectionism, either. One can seek out opportunities and paths of
obedience. One does not need to be perfect to do that.
One would like for some feeling of God to be there, though. Mother
Theresa did good in the world, and the world is better on account of her
example and her ministry. But couldn’t God have encouraged her more
than God did? Maybe God wanted her to be an example of someone who
holds on to truth, even if the feelings are not there.