Matthew 18:20 "For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."
They are simple words, never the less, most people are looking for God in all the wrong places. That is, of the people who are actually seeking God, many would just as soon not meet God, and prefer to go there own way. Yet, there comes a point in everyoneís life when they turn to God, usually over some insurmountable difficulty, as they cannot do it themselves, and no one else can help, they turn to God. And thatís the problem because they do not know where to turn. How do you find God? How do you hear his voice? How do you know which way is right?
There are a lot of people out there, in the world, who say, Iíll show you the way. Follow me. There words are smooth, and easy to hear, and it seems good, and yet; there remains this nagging doubt, because they have never told you where they are going, or where they are leading you. Many donít notice, for the words are pleasant to the ear, and the road is easy. What do you do? Children know what to do, for when they hear a stranger offer them candy to get into the car, their answer is clear plain and simple: NO! This isnít their parent, this isnít their neigbor, this isnít Jesus, this is a stranger. And a stranger doesnít know where I live, or where Iím going -- how can they take me in the right direction?
Many people are looking for direction in their lives. They want to know what is right and wrong. They want to know what they should do, and how they should live. And only a few speak to this need -- only a few who say this is the way, this is the truth, this is the life. We know that one of those voices is Jesus. Jesus says, I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the father, but by me. But there are other voices, how can we know which one is right? Some say, look inside yourself, the power is within you, Ö they are smooth words that are pleasing to the ears, and the way they show us is broad and easyÖ It is the wrong way. How do we know? Because the right way always takes us to the cross of Christ, it is there, at the foot of the cross, that we find forgiveness of sins and peace with God.
What are the smooth words? Often it begins with life is an adventure, and the joy is in the journey. The object is to get closer to God, and so with a picture in our mind of where God is, and we set out to meet him -- in many ways, this the the story of Bunyanís "The Pilgrimís Progress," and wonderful story of the things we encounter in life. Its hope is that we perfect ourselves in our journey, and on reaching perfection, we meet God. The problem is that life doesnít work that way, for this is Salvation by Works, and we have prepared ourselves to meet God; but as no one is properly prepared, no one ever meets God, of findís his peace, or grace, or forgiveness of sins.
But the theme of going off in search of God, or other great things, is a powerful theme. CS Lewis also wrote a book about the journey, his book was called "The Pilgrims Regress" for in that book, again there is a long journey, and we encounter much of what life is about, but in this book, the thing which the pilgrim seeks, is that which he finds when he returns home. It is what he had as a child. Did not Jesus say, "Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven." There are 2 things which we need, the first is the child like faith that is able to trust the word of God, knowing that God can accomplish all things.
And the second thing we need is a family. We begin life in a family, and it is to the family that God entrusts the teaching of saving faith. In baptism, God makes us part of another family, God makes us part of his family, and we becomes sons and daughters of God. This family of God at one place is the church, and in this church all our sisters and brothers in Christ gather together with us, and we remind eachother what it is that we have in Christ. In this family, there is always someone to remind us, that is not what God said, so that through this family given us by God, we donít have to go off in search of, for all that we need is already here.
So it is that we mark this beginning of new life in Brooke and Kramer, and we also return from our wanderings, home to our family, and in the blood of Jesus, our sins are also forgiven and we too are received back into the family of God. Simple things, child like faith, and the family of God, and with them is the good shpeherd, Jesus Christ, there to guide us in his way, to life everlasting.