As I have shared from day one at SFC, I believe life is a sacred journey. Every day we are presented with opportunities, signs and encounters that point us to the active presence of God and his Spirit in the world around us. Our previous sermon series on “Togethering” emphasized the need to learn to live faithfully with others — but is life just about other people? We can definitely experience God moving in our lives through our friends, neighbors, and family, but we also experience something spiritual in objects, places, nature, and even animals.
We have known for quite some time, now, that the world is becoming more and more “biblically illiterate.” We have even heard that people prefer being “spiritual” over “religious” or as Dan Kimball so aptly titled his book, “They Like Jesus, But Not The Church.” I think one of the reasons for these shifts in verbiage is the lack of being able to see with “spiritual eyes” and make connections in the ordinary parts of life.
Many people never see, experience, or find time to cultivate the spiritual in this world – thus the spiritual becomes mythical, magical or simply non-existent. Maybe we shouldn’t be so quick to label the world “biblically illiterate,” when there is a chasm that needs bridged spiritually first.
Protestant theologian Samuel H. Miller said, “In the muddled mess of this world, in the confusion and the boredom, we ought to be able to spot something – an event, a person, a memory, an act, a turning of the soul, a flash of bright wings, the surprise of sweet compassion – something where we ought to pick out a glory to celebrate.”
What does it mean to be “spiritually illiterate” in the world? It means that people have lost or chosen not to develop an ability to read the signs written in the texts of their own daily experiences. Thus the more adept we become at reading the world spiritually around us, the more comfortable we will be with seeing God’s image in others, his work in our encounters, and his beauty in all of creation – thus creating a bridge for those in the world to see the importance of God in all facets of life.
My hope is that through our next sermons series (beginning April 29), we will become more “spiritually literate” learning to see that everything around us contains signs and wisdom into the mysteries of God. Join us each Sunday as we explore how things, places, nature, animals, and much more help develop our spiritual literacy.
Grace and peace, Pastor Bob