by Rev. Joan Kessler
Readings: Gospel of Thomas No 24
Luke 2: 1-20
Tonight is a night of holy mystery. We wonder how it is that God might come to us in a tiny baby. In skin just like you and I have. Jesus would grow up to teach us and one another how to be kind and compassionate, to be just and inclusive, to be accepting and loving to everyone regardless of their skin.
So tonight, I want to share with you a new book that I just acquired, and it is called:
“What is God like?” And it is by Rachel Held Evans who we lost cancer earlier this year, much too soon. So, I am going to share her beautiful words with you tonight and we will wonder as we wander:
“What is God like?
What is God like? That’s a very big question. One that people from places all around the world have wondered about since the beginning of time. And while nobody has seen all of God because God is far too big for any of us to fully see, we can know what God is like.
God is like an eagle, sharp eyed and swift, with wings so wide that you can play under their shadows.
God is like a river, constant and life giving. When you grow near God, you’ll sprout up strong as a tree.
God is like the stars, forever present and bright. Even when they feel far away, you can always look up and see them winking at you.
God is like a shepherd, brave and good; a protector who loves her sheep so much that she watches over all of them and knows each of their names by heart.
God is like a fort, strong and secure with walls that are mighty and safe inside. There are hidden places to hold you when you are scared and need a quiet place to rest.
God is like a gardener, patient, and nurturing. God plants, waters, weeds, and fertilizes the earth until every good thing on it seeks the nourishing sun and grows.
God is like the flame of a candle, warm and inviting. With God close by you can look to the light and see through the darkest of nights.
God is like the wind, passionate and full of mystery. God is both here, and mysteriously, also over there. God is everywhere, swirling throughout the world, whistling across mountain ranges, rustling through trees, and pressing against your cheeks on a breezy day.
God is like an artist, creative and unpredictable. Always busy making and re-making everything brilliant and new.
God is like a mother, strong and safe. You can crawl up into her lap whenever you want to, and she will hold you until you fall asleep.
God is like a father, gentle and safe. He will put you on top of his shoulders to give you a birds-eye view of all creation.
God is like three dancers, graceful and precise. They move to the same music in very different ways, showcasing all of God’s elegance and rhythm in your life.
God is like a rainbow, vivid and full of colour. A dazzling reminder of promise and hope for all people after a storm.
God is like a best friend, faithful and true, closer to you than even your brothers or sisters.
And because as we know what god is like, we know that:
God is kind. God is forgiving. God is slow to get angry. God is quick to be glad.
God is happy when you tell the truth, and sad when things are unfair.
She is your protector. He is trustworthy. They are friends when you feel alone.
God hopes. God perseveres.
What is God like? That’s a very big question. One that people from places from all around the world throughout all time have answered in many different ways. Keep searching. Keep wondering. Keep learning about God.
But wherever you are, whenever you aren’t sure what God is like, think about what makes you feel safe, what makes you feel brave, and what makes you feel loved.
That’s what God is like.”