Mother's Day 2015

Posted on 05/10/2015 by Rev. Benjamin R. Faust D.D.

AUDIO: dialup - broadband - podcast

TRANSCRIPT: (does not contain everything found in the audio above)

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I LOVE TO BE IN YOUR PRESENCE

I love to be in Your presence
With Your people singing praises
I love to stand and rejoice
Lift my hands and raise my voice
You set my feet to dancing
You fill my heart with song
You give me reason to rejoice


I WILL BLESS THE LORD AT ALL TIMES

I will bless the Lord at all times
I will bless the Lord at all times
His praise shall continually
be in my mouth


I LOVE YOU LORD

I love you, Lord
and I lift my voice
To worship You
O my soul rejoice!
Take joy my King
in what You hear
Let it be a sweet,
sweet sound in Your ear


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Well,
Last week,
we finished a series
on Letting Go.

And
since we got
a little deep,
I had intended
to stay rather
...shallow...
today.

We'll see how
THAT goes.


After last week's message,
someone asked me
if I was teaching
"panantheism."

They gave a
brief definition,
and I had to
look it up
for clarification.

And just in case
anyone else
wondered the
same thing,
I'll take just a moment
to answer it here.

No.

And I say "no" because,
even after reading
a detailed description
of what that word means,
I'm still not sure.

And if I WAS sure,
I STILL wouldn't
REALLY know.

With spiritual truths,
any explanation
made out of words
isn't it.

We try to
put God in a box.

And I am NOT saying
the person who
asked me that question
was doing that.

What I AM saying
is that we ALL
tend to do that.

We might say,
"God cannot
be put in a box,"
and then
we define Him
and His ways
in terms that
our minds
can understand.

Which is a box.

What I CAN say
and WILL say
is that God has
revealed things
about Himself
and His plan
through the Scriptures.

Read them.

Let them point you
beyond themselves and
beyond human reason
to that which is
beyond the ability
of human language
to convey, or
human thinking
to define, or
human understanding
to grasp.

If you want doctrine,
you can read it there.
It might have been
intended to
point you BEYOND
itself and TO God,
but you can find it
in the Scriptures.

On the other hand,
when I describe
things I experience
while in the Spirit,
I am not
presenting doctrine.

I am not giving you
something to believe.

Or to disbelieve.

Instead,
I'm trying to describe
indescribable experiences,
to give you a
vague glimpse
into that realm.

That's not a doctrine.

That's not a belief.

Any more than
telling you about a
bright, warm,
optical cuddle that
embraced my heart
with jubilant glory,

is a doctrine
about the sunset,

or is something that
you're supposed to
analyze and believe...

...or disbelieve.

When I say that
the Word of God,
or the
creative power of God,
gives all things form,
and the Breath of God
animates all life,

yes, that's in the Bible
(in different words,
of course).

But saying I see that,
and that
everywhere I look,
I see God,
and in everyone I see,
I see God,

and how I treat
other people,
other beings,
other things,
feels as thought
I'm treating God,

that's not a doctrine.

That's not something
for you to believe
or disbelieve.

It's just an attempt
to put first-hand experience
into words so that
I can share it with you.

And in sharing the Peace,
in sharing the Joy,
in sharing the Knowing
of the vast waters
of the Presence of God
that fill this ocean
we call our life,

I hopefully am pointing
back to Him,
by describing Him
in human words.


There.


Was that shallow enough?


You know...

...sometimes...

...we just take things...

...way too seriously.

Just like this little boy,
we'll call Him Tommy,
a little red-headed rascall,
about six years old.

Like many boys his age,
Tommy had received
supernatural wisdom
that told him that
girls had cooties.

One Sunday,
the Sunday School teacher
taught about Adam and Eve,
and explained that
God took one of Adam's ribs
and made his wife out of it.

Well,
that was one of those lessons
Tommy didn't soon forget,
because a couple of weeks later,
Tommy's mother found him
lying in bed,
with a look on his face
of utter terror and dismay.

"Whatever is wrong, Tommy?"
his mother asked.

"My life is over,"
Tommy replied.
"I have a pain
in my side..."

...

"...I think I'm
having a wife."

----------------------------------------------------

Okay,
so it looked funnier on paper.

But seriously...

It's not just children
who get all worked up
over things of this earth.

There was this couple
who had two little boys,
ages 8 and 10.

The rascals were so
incredibly mischievous that,
if any mischief happened
anywhere in the tow,
their two sons
were probably involved
in one way or another.

Well, the parents were
at their wits' end as to
what to do about their
children's behavior.

The mother had heard
that there was
a preacher in town
who had been successful
in disciplining children,
so she asked her husband
if he thought they should
send the boys to him.

The husband said
they might as well,
since nothing they did
seemed to work.

Well,
the preacher agreed
to see the boys,
but said that
he must see them
one at a time.

The 8 year old
went to see him first.

The preacher
sat the boy down
and asked him sternly,
"Where is God?"

The boy stayed quiet,
so the preacher
repeated the question
in an even sterner tone,
"Where is God?"

Again the boy
made no attempt
to answer.

So the preacher,
apparently thinking that
control through fear
would produce
lasting change,
raised his voice
even more and
shook his finger
in the boy's face,
"WHERE IS GOD?"

At that, the boy
bolted from the room
and ran directly home,
dove into the closet,
and slammed the door.

His older brother
followed him into the closet
and asked what in the world
had happened.

The younger brother replied,
"We are in BIG trouble this time.
God is missing
and they think we did it!"



Of course,
as Acts 17:28 says,
"In Him we live,
and move,
and have our being."

Do you want to see God?

Take a look at a mother.

Imperfect, at least
in her temporary person.

But within her chest
the Breath of God
rises and falls.

And within her veins
the Life of God flows.

And most beings
playing the role of mother,
they nurture,
they protect,
they provide,
they comfort,
they correct,
they guide,
they embrace,
they feel as though
the life of their child
is more precious
than their own.

If she is still alive,
and if you can,
honor God today
by honoring
your mother.

Call her and
tell her you love her.

Maybe you can
take her out to eat.

Or just sit and
talk with her for awhile.

And if you cannot,
for whatever reason,
honor God
in someone else.

Forget the excuses,
and just go do it.


Are you a mother
who lost a child,
or whose offspring
are elsewhere
or aren't
showing you honor?

That has to hurt.

Embrace the pain.

Let it be there.

Don't feed it
by dwelling
on the story.

Instead,
come into the temple
and feel the pain
without judging
or labeling it.

It is as it is.

And you are
full of life,
breathing God's breath,
dancing His dance,
twirling until you're dizzy,
and then falling
in His arms of Peace
and Love.

Let this temporary
situation be.

It's all passing away.

And whether you
play the role of a mother
with appreciated kids,
or one with children
who have died,
or who disowned you,
or who never
were even conceived,

that role,
or lack of role,
does not define you.

That is not who you are.

Last week we
read the Scripture
that said,
let the one who is married
be as though he is not;

and that applies
to motherhood
as well.

Play the role and
fulfill the duties
assigned to that role
with all your attention.

But don't forget
that you are
on a stage,
acting in a play
that we call life.

Play your part well,
but remember that,
while the play
is coming to an end,
after the role is gone
and the scenes
have ended,
the REAL You
will still remain.

Beyond any role.

Beyond any story.

Undefined and undefinable
by language, or story,
or time.

Be Present with God,
as He is Present with You.

Rest in His Peace,
Revel in His Joy, and
Delight in His Love.

That's all that matters anyway.

And all these
other things
will come into
proper focus,
and will be seen
for the ultimate comedy,
and Divine Romance,
they really are.


Happy Mother's Day!