Devotional From Rev. Dr. Jody Moore
This Thursday, May 21
, is the day of the Ascension of our Lord. Through his death on the cross and his resurrection on the third day, Jesus completed his earthly mission. Forty days after Easter Sunday, Jesus left the disciples. He ascended to heaven to be with his Heavenly Father for all eternity. We will be celebrating Jesus’ ascension and exploring its meaning during the worship service this Sunday, May 24
God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church.
Ever since the ascension, it has been our responsibility as Jesus’ followers to discern God’s presence and what God is doing in the world. Sometimes we get some fairly interesting ideas about God. As I was going through some of my old notes, I found the following explanation of God written by Danny Dutton of Chula Vista, CA when he was 8-years-old as part of an assignment to explain God. I thought that you might appreciate some of the humor and also the fresh ways that Danny helps us see God. As Jesus said in Matthew 18:3, “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Eight-year-old Danny Dutton’s Understanding of God
>"One of God's main jobs is making people. He makes them to replace the ones that die so there will be enough people to take care of things on earth. He doesn't make grownups, just babies, I think because they are smaller and easier to make. That way he doesn't have to take up his valuable time teaching them to talk and walk. He can just leave that to mothers and fathers.
>"God's second most important job is listening to prayers. An awful lot of this goes on since some people, like preachers and things, pray at times besides bedtime. God doesn't have time to listen to the radio or TV because of this. Because he hears everything, there must be a terrible lot of noise in his ears unless he has thought of a way to turn it off.
>"God sees everything and hears everything and is everywhere which keeps Him pretty busy. So you shouldn't go wasting his time by going over your mom and dad's head asking for something they said you couldn't have.
>"Atheists are people who don't believe in God. I don't think there are any in town; at least there aren't any who come to our church.
>"Jesus is God's Son. He used to do all the hard work like walking on water and performing miracles and trying to teach the people who didn't want to learn about God. They finally got tired of him preaching to them and they crucified him. But he was good and kind, like his father, and he told his father that they didn't know what they were doing and to forgive them and God said "O.K."
>"His dad God appreciated everything that he had done and all his hard work on earth so he told him he didn't have to go out on the road anymore, He could stay in heaven. So he did. And now he helps his dad out by listening to prayers and seeing things which are important for God to take care of and which ones he can take care of himself without having to bother God . . . like a secretary only more important.
>"You can pray anytime you want and they are sure to help you because they got it worked out so one of them is on duty all the time. You should always go to church on Sunday because it makes God happy, and if there's anybody you want to make happy, it's God! Don't skip church or do something you think will be more fun like going to the beach. This is wrong and besides the sun doesn't come out at the beach until noon anyway.
>"If you don't believe in God, besides being an atheist you will be very lonely, because your parents can't go everywhere with you, like to camp, but God can. It is good to know He's around you when you're scared, in the dark or when you can't swim and you get thrown into real deep water by big kids. But you shouldn't always just think of what God can do for you. "I figure God put me here and he can take me back anytime he pleases. And that's why I believe in God."
Have you ever thought about writing down what you believe is most essential about God? In the Presbyterian Church (USA), when I was studying to be a pastor, I had to write my faith statement, my theological and personal understanding of who God is. I also wrote a faith statement that was included in the materials that the Pastor Nominating Committee here at Outer Banks Presbyterian Church considered when I was called to be your pastor. Putting down in words what I believe about God has been a spiritual exercise that has focused my heart, mind, and soul on what is most important about the triune God that we love and serve. If you were to write your own faith statement, what would you say about God? What has been most important in your own journey of faith? Taking what we have learned and studied and putting our faith into our own words is an important way to take personal ownership of what we believe.
Gracious God, we thank you that we have come to know you in your Son Jesus Christ. When he ascended to heaven, he left behind disciples to continue following his teachings and sharing his Good News. Help us today, here and now, to serve our Lord. We pray that we could be Jesus’ hands and feet in the world and that our lips would speak of his praise. We pray for all those who are discouraged, sick, or lonely, particularly during this pandemic. We pray for your healing presence to fill our lives and our community. In Jesus’ name, we pray, Amen.
Grace and peace,