Caught by God

It frustrates me when people talk as if they understand and can explain God when we cannot even figure out the formula for our own lives. That doesn’t deter us from having absolute answers about eternal matters.

I know people often leave my church disappointed. They come seeking answers, wanting us to give them explanations, expecting us to tell them everything they need to know about God, life, and eternity in less than an hour, and still have time for communion. There are many churches and preachers, especially in the South, quite willing, if not able, to do just that. For me, though, it would be a lie.

All I can honestly say to you is what Jesus said to Simon Peter: “Push out into the deep and let down your nets.”

We will not catch God, but, like Peter, we might be caught by God. Any true encounter with the living God should shatter our arrogance and certainty and send us to our knees in humility.

The image of Jesus sending disciples into deeper water both challenges and terrifies me. Have you ever read something and been afraid to think about it? Or heard a sermon that left you inexplicably mad because it took you somewhere you really didn’t want to go? Jesus spent his entire life challenging people’s presumptions about God and inviting them out into deeper water where they had to depend on grace rather than certainty. In the end, that’s what got him crucified.

by Michael Piazza
Co-Executive Director
The Center for Progressive Renewal


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