Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Do we even NEED God anymore?

Today’s Gospel Reading: Luke 6:17-23 - At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.  And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.  And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: "Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.  Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.  Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.  Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!  Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven."
I often wonder if the ancient world had the many medical technologies and drug advances that we are blessed with today, if people would have even felt the need for God. Today’s Gospel reading is another example of crowds gathering around Christ to be healed. Most of them never knew they would receive anything more than physical healing. If people could have approached their village doctor and received a prosthetic limb, would the lame have approached God? If people had a local optometrist, would the blind have ask Jesus for their sight? If Jerusalem had an oncology department, would the woman with the flow of blood ever have reached out and touched the fringe of His garment?

 If God is nothing more than a healthcare professional, then science and technology have made our need for Him obsolete. Don’t get me wrong, science is a great gift of God, and I would never suggest otherwise, but we can’t ignore that it creates a false sense of security among human beings. If there is no perceived “need” that cannot be met by either popping a pill, or calling the nearest university research department, what is left that draws us to God? the constant longing for eternal life inherent in the human soul the cause of our, at times, neurotic obsession with curing illness?

These are the questions that sometimes land in my mind as I review and prepare for various classes and sermons. This coming Sunday’s Gospel lesson is about a blind man who is healed and follows Christ worshiping Him. When we are healed by our doctors, do we go to the Church and light a candle and thank God? Have we forgotten that every perfect gift is from above? (James 1.17) Do we even NEED God anymore?

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