The writer of Hebrews says “God rewards those who sincerely look for him.”
All human beings have one thing in common.
It’s to connect to their creator.
That’s why humans can act extremely strange and erratic.
They may act in destructive ways to deny that desire or they may act in strange ways to try to fulfill that desire to connect.
There’s an old song “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places.”
I think that in our world, in religious circles and even in my own life, we are many times looking for God in all the wrong places.
Sometimes I’m looking for God in a worship experience or in a teaching or in a class or in a particular religion but I am reminded of the words of Jesus:
“I was hungry and you fed me,
I was thirsty and you gave me a drink,
I was homeless and you gave me a room,
I was shivering and you gave me clothes,
I was sick and you stopped to visit,
I was in prison and you came to me.’
Whenever you did one of these things to someone overlooked or ignored, that was me—you did it to me.”
The words seem so simple, the instructions uncomplicated.
I was just recently in Seattle and I saw a bumper sticker that said, “Jesus called, he wants his religion back.”
Embarrassingly, religion spends billions of dollars every year on buildings, politics, programs, rituals and war, trying to find God when the truth is God is around every corner.
He’s the homeless person needing shelter.
She’s the abused mom looking for safety.
He’s the dying aids patient hoping for someone to care.
She’s the prostitute begging for intimacy.
He’s your neighbor wondering what life is all about.
It’s your co-worker fighting depression.
It’s the forgotten elderly couple who children never visit, barely getting by on their social security check.
Tradition says that when St. Francis of Assisi turned his back on wealth to seek God in simplicity, he stripped naked and walked out of the city. Now I don’t recommend the stripping naked part, but the story says that he soon encountered a leper on the side of the road. He passed him and then went back and embraced the diseased man. St. Francis then continued on his journey and after a few steps he turned to look again at the leper but no one was there. For the rest of his life he believed the leper was Jesus and I think he was right.
JESUS IN ALL HIS DISGUISES.
Author Max Lucado says, “Jesus lives in the forgotten. He has taken up residence in the ignored. He has made a mansion amidst the ill. If we want to see God we must go among the broken and beaten and there we will see them, we will see HIM.”
If that is the case, then it’s easier to find God than we think.