God’s plan for you is your plan, too | Worship

By The Rev. Cynthia Espeseth, St. Hilda St. Patrick Episcopal Church | Jan 29, 2014

God has a plan. I get so frustrated by those words.

Really? Was it God’s plan that my friend’s nephew died of brain cancer? Or that my husband be struck by a car and killed? I really don’t believe that.

In my opinion, the idea that God has a plan connotes the idea that we are powerless. I don’t buy into the image that God is a clock-maker who has created and wound up the universe, then sits back and watches everything unfold.

This kind of theology puts the blame squarely on God for the bad and the good that happens in our lives. That may be convenient and the easy way to believe, but it takes away our responsibility and our co-creativity with God.

Everything I know about life and the scriptures tells me that God has made us to be in partnership in this amazing adventure of life and in the world.

God made us in the divine image and likeness, which means we have free-will. We have the freedom to make choices or not. We have the power and ability to partner with God as our lives unfold. Or not.

I believe that when we choose to be oriented with God, then life unfolds and we can see patterns and swirls of the events we have experienced. From there we begin to see our salvation.

We are part of a picture, a dance that gets revealed moment by moment, day by day, as we paint this picture and dance this dance with God that we know as our lives.

If one insists that God has a plan, then I believe that the plan is our relationship and co-creativity with God. God is always in charge, and events unfold as we engage in our relationships with one another and with the divine creator of all that is.

It’s pretty awesome to consider this, and it takes a willingness to risk living this belief.

When something bad, or good, happens, we can’t blame God. We are instead invited to consider our role and our responsibility in all of life.

Disease, like tornados and earthquakes, are part of the natural order of the world. They have a purpose in keeping the balance.

We spread disease to one another. We create hostile environments that foster the growth of cancer. These things happen. How we respond to the good and the bad is our choice.

When we believe that we are partners in this dance with God, then we begin to see that everything we do is interconnected. We begin to understand that we have a responsibility to one another and to this world, which is exactly what God intends.

We are woven together. Choices I make today will effect someone with whom I may never come into contact with. Or my unborn grandchildren.

Jesus said: Love your neighbor as you love yourself. Or put another way, Love your brothers or sister like your soul. Guard each of them like the pupil of your eye.

This is the good news that God reveals through Jesus Christ. We belong to God, we belong to each other.

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