My church newsletter column for St. Peter Lutheran Church, Greene, Iowa, for August, 2017.
In him we live and move and have our being. -Acts 17:28
I recently shared a devotion with the church council about God-sightings. Even though we all believe God is at work around us, noticing God at work can be hard. The idea of God-sightings is to intentionally pay attention, looking for God at work in our world.
Sometimes, remembering God is active around us is easy. In the tough times of life, like when someone is sick or in the hospital, we know to pray for them. When someone we know is going through a rough patch, we know to look for the positives. Or, in the really good times, the mountaintop experiences of life, it’s often easier to notice God in the joys of healing, the wonders of nature, and the excitement of children.
But what about in ordinary, everyday life? So often we take for granted the blessings we’ve received from God. It’s so easy to go from day to day and just forget to notice God’s wonders all around us.
During Vacation Bible School, the kids at the evening program had a time with their crew groups to share where they’d seen God. For some, it was in praying together as a group, for others it was their parents, or the volunteers providing food. For one, it was getting helped up after falling down during a game. I saw God in all the volunteers giving up their time to help.
The younger kids in the morning session even made “binoculars” to remind them to look for things God made. How often do we remember to look for and give thanks for things like trees, or grass, or friends, or safety, or clean air? One of my friends ends every prayer by thanking God for chocolate milk!
The mission trip group traveling to Chicago also took time to notice what God is doing there, among the people and ministries where we served. Again, it’s sometimes easier to see in the mountaintop experiences, but we trust and proclaim that God is at work around us, in our own lives.
Where do you see God this summer? Is it in volunteers delivering meals? Is it in worship each weekend, where Christ promises to meet us in Word and Sacrament? Is it in the miracle of crops growing? Is it in volunteer ambulance crews and firefighters putting themselves at risk to serve their neighbors? Is it in the smiles of people you meet on the street?
When we look with the eyes of faith, we can notice God’s handiwork in everything around us, even in the miracle of life itself. As Acts 17:38 says, our very existence depends on God.
May you be blessed to notice God at work around you. I’d love to hear your God-sightings!
Pastor Daniel Flucke