As crazy as it may sound, I often forget that I've never seen God personally. That I've never physically touched him, or shared a glass of wine with him, or felt the roughness of his shirt as I cried on his shoulder. Because most of the time, I feel like he's walked along beside me every step of my life, and that I know him and he knows me, and that the only thing that has separated us is the skin between immortality and eternity, like how the skin of my mom's belly separated me from the born world.
But yesterday I was struck by the vastness of God . . . God, this being who is so completely beyond my comprehension that I can't attempt to understand him with my limited senses, this God that I speak of and to daily, who created me and the universe and keeps it stuck together . . . how is it possible that I can really know this God?
I wondered why I don't feel that gap between God and I more of the time. It makes more sense that I would be confused by him, rather than feel loved by him.
But then I realized that the times I feel separated from him are the times when I'm far from home--from other like-minded knowers of God. You just can't be as deep with people who don't acknowledge the same Father that you do.
This morning I read an interesting article about twentysomethings and the Christian faith called Faith No More. What's enlightening about the article is not the fact that 60% of twentysomethings who were involved in spiritual activities in their teens have dropped out. This I guessed, and a lot of leaders today have acknowledged this problem. But what's intriguing about the article is the hypothesized explanation for the dropout. Mainly, that too many churches put all their efforts into producing events with screens and lights and cutting edge music, and forget the most fundamental ingredient of our faith communities: authentic fellowship.
Most people would agree that it's friendship, support, honesty and encouragement that keeps us going back anywhere--home, work, a friend's house, and of course, church. It reminds me of the young adult Bible study that we had at our last church. It wasn't anything spectacular. Just a weekly dinner gathering consisting of food, the Bible, prayer, and lots of questions. But it's what I miss most from our time in Reno. Of course I miss the worship services, but it was the intimate gatherings and the relationships that were created from it and the weekend nights out with those people that I miss the most. Because we had something between us that was greater than age, culture, humor, extracurricular activities, place of residence, etc. We talked about the same Father. We knew the same Father. And in doing so, we shared the same worldview that effected everything we did.
I miss that commonality.