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What about God?

What, or Who, is God, if there is a God at all? 

These questions seem to be hard-wired into our humanity: 
How did things come to be? 
Why am I here? 
Does my life have a purpose? 
What happens when I die? 
Why do things happen as they do? 
In our culture, such questions often seem to boil down to:  Is there a God who cares for me?

Human beings in every time and every place have been compelled to ask these questions, to wrestle with them, to strive to find answers.  Because we, in our time and place, are a 'rational' society, we want answers that consist of simple, concrete, 'objective' facts that can be scientifically proven -- preferably immediately, and in six sentences or less.  We demand to know the 'truth.'  But our Episcopal tradition suggests that ultimate truth is found only in God -- God is Truth.  Within the confines of our mortal limitations, therefore, any of us, individually or institutionally, can have no more than a piece of the full and complete Divine truth.  And because each of us is individually created and gifted by God, we each experience and understand God a little differently than our neighbor does.  God is so much more than we, living the earthly portion of our lives, can possibly comprehend, that finding the definitive answer to our questions about God simply isn't something we can do.

 

This can be extremely frustrating, especially when we are new in our faith.  But if we can remain in dialogue with the members of our community -- particularly those members with whom we seem to have least in common -- we can come to see that it is truly one of God's great blessings.  God calls us to live in community, and it is when we embrace that call with prayer, corporate worship, study, conversation, fellowship, service, respect, and love, that we begin to see our piece of Divine truth growing ever bigger, our answers ever clearer, and our relationship with God and Neighbor ever more wonderful.  That our truth, our answers, and our relationships don't look exactly like everyone elses' becomes ever less important. 

 

Episcopalians generally say that we come to know God through scripture, tradition, reason, and experience.  Because we know we are created in the image of God but are not, in fact, God, we don't claim to have 'the' answers about God, God's will, and God's ways.  But we do believe that there is a God who cares for each of us, a God who loves us and the entire Creation with a love beyond all imagining.  That God requires that we 'do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with the LORD.'  (Micah 6:8)  That God commands that we 'love the LORD with all our hearts and minds and souls and strength; and our neighbors as ourselves.'  (Mark 12:30)  That God calls us to gather together to worship God and to tend and nurture each other spiritually, emotionally, and physically.  That God is a God we would delight in coming to know better with you.