God Isn’t Found in the Esoteric; He is Found in the Tangible

holy-communionI read Rachel Held Evans’ “Searching for Sunday,” over the summer. At one point, she quoted Robert Webber, who I read during my classes at Johnson, and I thought some may enjoy his quote:

God works through life, through people, and through physical, tangible, and material reality to communicate his healing presence in our lives. God does not meet us outside of life in an esoteric manner. Rather, he meets us through life incidences, and particularly through the sacraments of the church. Sacrament, then, is a way of encountering the Mystery.”

Rachel goes into to say, ‘This is the purpose of the sacraments, of the church–to help us seem to point to the bread and wine, the orchids and the food pantries, the post-funeral potlucks, and the post-communion dance parties, and say: pay attention, this stuff matters; these are things are holy.”

Dr. Jody Owens once preached at JU where he said, “Matter matters!” He used water, oil, bread, and wine to show how God can communicate through these tangible vehicles of matter to show us His grace.

God gave us these things because He knew eventually people would end up saying things like, “I didn’t get anything out of church today,” or “I feel I can’t relate to God because I can’t touch, see, hear, or small Him,” etc. The reasons many say this is because they have not yet learned that God uses matter to show us His grace. He is in the bread, wine, water, and oil! And for good reason; He knew we would need those things in order to be in communion with Him.

Stop looking for some esoteric experience of God wherein He comes to you in dreams, visions, or charismatic experiences during worship or what have you! He has already shown Himself to us.

Bread.

Water.

Wine.

Oil.

He is there; open up and see Him….

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