I believe in the God of Abraham and Sarah, the Eternal Spirit who is genderless, but whom we, because of the limitations of language, must call He or She. This God known by so many names who created all the universes, all that exists or has ever existed, all peoples and sentient beings, who loves us in a way that no person can love us, and who manifested himself in the Son, Jesus Christ, who came to our earthly home at a pivotal moment in order to save humanity. He did this through the teachings and stories found in the Gospels. His admonishment for us to “..love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all our strength” and to “love your neighbor as yourself” form the basis for my Christian faith and for my world view. The Old and New Testaments are the inspired word of God in which lie Eternal Truths and Wisdom. It is God’s wish for us to use our God-given ability to reason along with our life experience and that of our ancestors and communities to continue to find new meaning and a deeper understanding of Scripture. As a liberal Christian I believe that anyone entering into a relationship with the texts opens her or himself to God and to the ongoing revelation that is imparted through the reading and contemplation of the texts, especially the teachings of Jesus. “God is still speaking!”
God, as the creator and sustainer of Life wishes for us to see God in absolutely everything and to honor God by loving one another, caring for the Earth, and by being peaceful and humble. When we blind ourselves to the Truth, when we judge others, when we hold ourselves above another, or when we break the commandments we take ourselves out of alignment with God and place ourselves before God. Sin is not just a transgression of divine law or a disobedience of the Word of God, but a willfulness to place ourselves first or to view others as being less-than—to separate ourselves from God and creation—which then takes us out of alignment with God. Fortunately, by becoming aware of our sin we can ask for forgiveness and the willingness and ability to set things right with our fellows. All can be redeemed through the power of the Holy Spirit which is the invisible, but felt, working presence of God that moves us, changes us, and makes it possible for us to become whole.
Grace enters the room when we, even for just an instant, perceive our estrangement from God and our fellows. Grace unearned, but always at the ready to soften our hearts, heal our wounds, and guide us in the process of reconciling ourselves to God and humanity, especially those whom we have harmed. Without grace there can be no miracles. Grace is present in the sacraments of the church: baptism and the Lord’s Supper. It is a good thing for us to bring our children forward in the sanctuary to have them blessed with water in the name of the Trinity and to dedicate them to a life that acknowledges the love of God, the power over death of the risen Jesus Christ, and the healing presence of the Holy Spirit, while we remember our own baptism and the confirming of it when we became adults. So, too, when we come to the table during the Lord’s Supper to eat the bread and drink from the cup we do those things to remember the great sacrifice of Jesus who was crucified and arose from the dead to demonstrate to us that all can become whole. If we partake of the elements mindfully and with the intention of being brought back into alignment with the Eternal Spirit the ritual becomes more than a remembrance of Christ, but a calling of the spirit of Christ to be present within and around us.
Our all-loving and compassionate God extends to us unlimited opportunities during our life to align ourselves with uprightness (right-living) which means to acknowledge the power, glory, and might of God and the sacredness of all things. God is always ready to forgive us our debts/sins/trespasses and salvation awaits us as Christians who acknowledge the death and resurrection of Jesus which was his promise to us of everlasting life if we, too, follow his path of righteousness.