by Roger S Nelson
These three related scenes are from my 2nd (unpublished) book The Purple Boot.. This humorous adventure/romance is about a man who goes on a horse back riding trip across Michigan.
She said, "Thanks for coming today. I passed out some song sheets, and Cal is going to play the guitar for us. If you don't know the song, at least pay attention to the words. Our opening song is "Love Is When". Notice it says "God became a man, down where we can see". Bill tells me this fits right in with his message today.
After the song, Bill got up and said, "Folks, I know some of you have a connection with God. You've established a relationship. You talk with Him, and in a way, He speaks back to you. Not out loud, but you can sense what He wants and you do it. You feel his presence with you all day long, every day, not just in church on Sunday. I also have this kind of relationship with God."
"Perhaps some of you here don't have this kind of relationship. There is no connection. Perhaps you're wondering as I once did, 'How can I connect with God?'. Well, you can't. Trying to find God or understand God would be similar to a grasshopper trying to find one of us. What do we have in common with a grasshopper? Virtually nothing. Think about it. God created the heavens and the earth. He understands all about neutrinos and quarks, gluons and things nuclear physicists haven't even thought of yet. He understands about relativity, and galaxies and lots of things we haven't been able to see with the strongest telescope yet. And He understands all about relationships and the human heart and knows what we need when we don't even know it ourselves. He watches over us and we never even know it. He answers our prayers before we pray them. A grasshopper in a cage never understands but a tiny fraction of all the things the keeper of the cage does."
"You've seen how horses grow and learn, how they behave. You can see the difference between the way a young horse acts and thinks and an older experienced horse acts and thinks. People are an awful lot like horses in some ways. As we get older and gain experience, we become wiser and more dependable, just like a horse. But if we lived to be a thousand, we still wouldn't know but a tiny fraction of what God knows. "
"Horses are enough like us that to a certain extent, we can form bonds with them. A horse will learn to trust us and vice versa. But could a grasshopper form a bond with us? We could put one in a cage and call it a pet, take care of it like we do fish. We could tie it to a string and take it along with us like a dog. But the grasshopper would never really bond with us, it would always remain wild. The grasshopper would die after a season, while we would live many more years. That's sort of how we are with God. We can't really connect with Him. We're just not smart enough or knowledgeable enough."
"The strange thing is, however, God does love us and wants to have a connection. Since we're unable to connect with Him, if this connection were to take place, He would have to provide a means for us to do it. If we wanted to connect with a grasshopper, maybe we could connect wires to a grasshoppers brain and connect them to our own brain so it could feel our thoughts. But that wouldn't exactly work either, because we have so many more things to connect to, our thoughts would overwhelm it. So God’s thoughts would overwhelm us.
A better way would be if we could become a grasshopper. Then we could talk to it in a grasshopper way, using grasshopper language, in a grasshopper body that it could understand and relate to. I don't know about you, but I don't want to communicate with a grasshopper that bad. Someone might step on me and that would be the end of me."
"But what if I could make part of me into a grasshopper and still remain me. That would be better, but I still wouldn't really understand what it was like to be a grasshopper. I wouldn't have experienced the egg stage, the different larva stages, the sheddings, the growing wings, and the growing in experience and knowledge that a grasshopper goes through. To really understand and connect with a grasshopper, and for grasshoppers to connect with me, I would have to start out as a grasshopper egg, become a baby grasshopper and grow up with them."
"In short, God wanted to connect with us so bad, that that's exactly what He did. When Jesus was born, it was God looking at us through human eyes, breathing with human lungs, crying with human tears. It was God growing up with humans and learning human things, suffering from human hands, and eventually dying for human sins. Our sins, not His own. At the same time, he taught us Godly things so that we could be more like Him. Things like forgiveness, loving your enemies, not taking revenge, and going out of your way to help others. Things like honesty, integrity, gentleness, patience, trust, and acceptance."
"The best thing about this is that because Jesus was God, he couldn't stay dead. And because Jesus is still alive today, we can still connect to God today, through Jesus."
"When we look at Jesus' life, and see how he suffered for us, and see the things he taught us, suddenly there's a way to make a connection. We know He understands us, He was one of us. We can understand Him because he lived as one of us. It's something we can relate to. Something that makes us feel that God loves us. Something that makes us want to love God back. Suddenly there is a respect and awe for God that we never had before. Isn't that what a connection is, a strong feeling for someone? Or if not a feeling, an unwavering trust?"
"I know that sometimes we lose that feeling. Feelings come and go, just like hunger. But trust can be like a rock, something you can cling to in a storm. And when you have the feelings also, it's doubly good."
"If you're here this beautiful Sunday morning and are connected with God, then you feel the joy and love He gives. You feel the peace and happiness. If you're like me you just want to sing and, and shout, and dance. You feel like giving everyone a hug and a kiss and saying 'God loves you'. But don't do it now. Save it for later."
"There may be some here who aren't connected to God yet. God has already reached down in love and is holding out his arms to embrace you. He's already done everything that needs to be done, or at least everything that He can do. He understands you because he's lived a human life. You can understand Him because you've seen Him in Jesus. There's just one thing that God can't or won't do. He won't make you complete the connection. A connection is a mutual thing, it takes both people. God offers you His part in the connection. Now He wants you to reach out to him and connect through Jesus. Make it mutual connection. It's free, but at great cost to Him."
"If you would like to make the connection, or maybe if you just did, I'd like you to come and talk to me today, or whenever you can. I won't embarrass you, but I'll show you from the Bible a little more about it and pray for you." Bill sat down.
Roxanne stood up and said, "I'd like to close this service with "Reach Out To Jesus". If you’ve never reached out to Jesus, today would be a good day to do it. If you have, then today would be a good day to draw nearer to Him. Pay attention to the words now, as Cal plays.