Wednesday 19 October: notice
The vacation bible school curriculum we used in Previous City asked the kids ("campers") to look around themselves, outside themselves, and notice "God Sightings" throughout the day and report them to their class at church. The theologian in me wants to remind everyone God's presence is hidden, paradoxical, free and elusive. In fact most often we don't notice God was there in a special manner in a place, setting, or situation until afterwards when we look back and begin assessing and appreciating what we experienced. As God told Moses, "You cannot see my face; you only can see my back." In other words, you only can tell that I have been there in retrospect, after the God Event is over.
This coming Sunday for my adult SS class we're discussing one more lectionary (RCL Pentecost 23C) reading from the pastoral epistle 2 Timothy. Although it's not officially within the formal canon of Paul/Saul of Tarsus's undisputed letters, one Pauline characteristic it retains and exploits is the manner in which the author – who presents 1 Timothy and 2 Timothy as Paul's retrospective life summary testimony – is the recognition of the constant presence of Jesus Christ along with the power and work of the Holy Spirit. Look around you and notice! God Sightings!