Sunday’s Scripture: John 1:1-5, 14
I have a theory about the intended purpose of dogs wearing collars with tags, and more specifically, my intended purpose for my dogs wearing collars with tags.
We call them necklaces in the Miller house.
Collars with tags, or necklaces, are helpful if the pups meet a new human friend. The collars and tags share their names and give evidence that they are currently vaccinated.
What is my intended purpose for the pups wearing their necklaces? Necklaces deactivate a pup’s stealth mode. The tags that dangle off a collar do not make much noise, but they make enough noise to reveal their location, reveal their current activity level at that location, and reveal if that location is changing from one to another.
Samson and Tala…I know where you are! And that brings me great comfort.
Sometimes I would like to put a necklace on God so that without a shadow of a doubt I would know where God is. Always knowing where God is would – can you imagine it!? When the world gets loud through shouts of violence, cries of pain, and weapons of words or machines preach a blaring gospel full of hate, what I would give for a sensory assurance of God’s presence.
Just to hear God say, “My children! I am over here!”
And that is when I need to remember that in the midst of all the noise, God is still speaking. God is still making Godself known. In the loud moments the change must happen in me. I must focus my eyes and tune my ears to recognize God’s presence. Finding God’s presence in what at first may have appeared an unlikely place encourages my assurance of God’s presence to move from knowledge in my brain to beating confidence in my heart.
God’s presence is revealed through helpers, comforters, and providers. God’s presence is revealed through a cup of cool water, a bowl of steaming soup, a pair of new socks, and a kind, welcoming word. God’s presence is revealed in Scripture, song, and sacrament. God’s presence is revealed in you and me.
So in us and because of us, what sort of divine presence do our neighbors experience?
Victor Hugo penned in Les Miserables,”to love another person is to see the face of God.” Where is God? God is in each of us. God is capable and yearning to take up residence in each one of us so that we can become God’s echoes in the world. In this way when people wonder where God is or wander in search of God, we can lend our voices to saying “God is here. Allow me to show you how. And, more importantly, allow me to show you why.
Prayer: “Emmanuel, Emmanuel, his name is called Emmanuel. God with us, revealed in us, his name is called Emmanuel.”* Amen.
“Emmanuel, Emmanuel,” The United Methodist Hymnal, 204.