The first in a series of sermons asking the question; "What do we mean when we say the word God?" After a week like this one, remembering the victims of violence from mosques in New Zealand: When we say we believe in the God of Abraham, the God of Sarah, we also must know that we claim the God of Hagar. Our God is not a narrow tribal God. Our One God is capable of mercy, and justice, and love not just for one group, but for all of humanity.
You and I will probably never live to see a permanent peace between Muslim, Jew, and Christian. We might not live to see peace among our siblings. But we can catch glimpses of the world as it could be. We simply need to practice keeping our hearts open.
Like Philip and the other early followers of Jesus discovered, the Gospel is bigger than any one of us, bigger than any one identity. To fully see the beauty of God’s good news, we are going to have to try and wrap our embrace around the whole of humanity. To fully know the love of God, we have to learn to love, learn to be loved by all sorts and categories of peopl