Sermon Series: What do we mean when we say the word “God?”

Over three Sundays in March our rector will ask the question: What do we mean when we say the word “God?”

We live in a day when the question charged. There are many diverse responses, many visions of God. There are churches who would claim to have a monopoly on the definition (Holy Communion isn’t one of them). How can we view God in a way that is more generous?

We also live in a day when atheists have become evangelical. God is talked about as a myth, or even a “delusion.” It is not safe to assume we know what someone means when she says she believes in God, or doesn’t.

Over three weeks in Lent, we’ll hear three central stories in our faith. Our rector will preach about how these three stories can serve as resources for Christians today, these three stories help us to respond to the question more fully.

March 17: The God of Abraham, Sarah, and Hagar

You can also read the sermon on the rector’s blog: angellmike.com

In the first story, we encounter Abraham, and we talk about the very foundations of faith in one God, what is often called monotheism. Christians, Jews, and Muslims all trace our roots to Abraham and to the matriarchs of our faith Sarah and Hagar. How was belief in one God a radical concept in the ancient world? How can faith in a God who is one transform our lives today? How can sharing God with Jews and Muslims inspire us to work for justice and peace?

March 24: The God of Moses and the Midwives

In the second foundational story of faith, we encounter Moses. Moses asks God “what is your name?” God’s answer comes not just in word, but in action. God moves to set people free. Moses is only able to ask the question because of the faithful resistance of the Hebrew midwives who saved his life out of faith. God continues to act in Moses’ story as the God who liberates.

March 31: The God of Jesus, Mother and Father

Finally we come to Jesus, and the story of the Prodigal son. This parable, maybe more beautifully than any other, serves as one of Jesus’ central teachings about God. What does it mean to talk about God as a loving parent? What does it mean to preach that God is one, liberating, and loving?