Monday, February 4, 2013

A Spoonful of God

I used to see a bumper sticker that said, “God said it. I believe it. That settles it.”

I would quote that bumper sticker and people would nod with satisfaction as if I had just handed them the secret of the universe in a small box, and now they could go on to put dinner on the table. 

And then I would challenge them: “This is an interesting statement. But what exactly do we think God has said?” And I would use any answer they offered to initiate a protracted discussion, which bugged them, because they were ready to move on

I probably took too much pleasure in bothering them, but I think my point is valid:

You can’t limit God to a bumper sticker. To use another quote of a similar style:

Anything you can put in a nutshell belongs there. 

On the other hand, Jesus and John had a way of saying very big things in short sentences:

God is love.
God is light.
I am the Bread of life
I am the Light of the world.
I am the way, the truth, and the life.
I am the Good Shepherd.
I came that they may have life and have it more abundantly.
I am the Resurrection.
I am.

Quick sayings.  But they were meant to generate conversation, not stop it cold.  I have spent a life time pondering these statements. People will ask me for definition and look disappointed when I can’t give them a quick answer to explain an absolute truth.

Time is a major factor. We don’t have enough of it, and it seems to me that the most important things often cheated by busyness and fatigue created by the busyness.  For instance, I spend a lot of energy honing a worship service to keep it to a mere sixty minutes. And most people don’t have time for protracted group study of the Bible.

But I think most of us hunger for truth, meaning, and purpose.  Maybe we’re even starved, which could explain why we want it all in one spoonful.

A spoonful of God. That just isn’t going to be enough, is it?  


  1. Where I live, it seems that people are very reluctant to discuss spiritual matters. In face, once the service is over I never hear Jesus discussed as a living presence in our church.
    There is often talk of news, endless weather, financial matters, and even politics - but discussion about our relationship with God is so rare as to be unheard of....
    It seems at some point it became impolite to discuss such things - and I suppose I can see how it is awkward among people who might have different faiths (although personally I really enjoy such opportunities) but in our own church it would seem that we should all feel quite free to talk openly.
    I don't do it either.....wouldn't it be nice to share our love for God freely?


    1. Debbie, yes, it would be nice. It's like there's some cultural barrier that keeps us from sharing these things. And yet, I think most of us think about them quite a bit. I wonder what makes us feel so uncomfortable?