May 27, 2018
We all want to belong. When we are kids, we want to belong to the right group of friends. As we grow older, we look for places where “everybody knows your name,” places where we know we will be accepted, places we can call home. As Robert Frost put it, “home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in.”
The desire to belong is a deeply felt need, and when it isn’t met, the consequences can be devastating. Kids especially need to belong, to know they are loved, to know that they matter.
Children who have been neglected, who don’t have a strong sense of belonging, are statistically more likely to suffer from at least one psychological disorder by the time they reach age 21. According to the Kids At Risk Action Group, “Children who experience child abuse & neglect are about 9 times more likely to become involved in criminal activity.” Feeling like you belong is an important part of growing up whole and healthy.
We all need to belong. The question is, where will we find that need satisfied? The Apostle Paul addresses this question in the 8th chapter of his letter to the church at Rome. Continue reading
Today is Father’s Day. Wave at your dad. What do you usually call him? What does your mom usually call him? How about your grandpa and grandma, his parents? Just like your dad can have three different names, depending on how he is related to the person calling him, God is known to us in three different ways that all depend on how we relate to God in a specific instance. For example, we often think of God the Father, because that’s what Jesus called him, or sometimes we think of the Father as the Creator, like we heard earlier in the story from Genesis that starts out, In the beginning, God created… And we also think of Jesus as God’s Son, or – if we look at his relationship to us – we might call him God the Redeemer or Savior. And last week, we celebrated another way God is present with us, as God the Holy Spirit. Remember how the disciples received the Holy Spirit at Pentecost? Sometimes we call the Holy Spirit our Comforter or Sustainer. Three different ways we recognize God, but it’s all just One God. As you look around the church you may notice symbols in groups of three – that’s to represent the three ways we know God, and we call it the Trinity. So today, when you get bored, try looking around for things that are in groups of three, and you can tell me during coffee time what you found, okay? Let’s pray.
God our Maker, or Savior, our Friend, help us to know you and love you, no matter what we call you. We pray in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.