Call and Response.

Sometimes I find myself at the little church behind my house.  It's a Congregational church that's simple and intimate and I've met a few lovely people in the congregation who make eye contact with me and welcome me each time they notice I'm there.   The pastor and his sermons make sense to me, and so I find myself eager to attend when I am able. 

This past Sunday, the first since the election, I made a point of going. 

He began his sermon describing a practice called Call and Response.  A Call and Response is when a speaker calls something out and the congregation responds in unison.  The call and response he demonstrated was this:

Pastor: "God is good."
And then we the congregation responded: "All the time."

And then he posed this question:  Why do bad things happen to good people? 

He shared about how God shows up in the world and where there might seem to be a void of God. He talked about how humans were given something called free will, and God respects our decision to use it to make choices.  He accounted for terrible atrocities that have been done since the beginning of time that have challenged the faith of even the most reverent and then he wondered out loud for those of us who have thought this many times;  "If God is so powerful and almighty, how can God allow  ___________ to happen? "

Then he invited us to step back and consider the arch and curve of our planet from the perspective of the cosmos, or even beyond into the infinite mystery of the universe with it's endless galaxies and to wonder at it.  He encouraged us to see beyond what is visible, beyond what limits us in our capacity to experience God in our own world.  

And then, at the end of the sermon he called out again...

Pastor: "God is good."
And then we the congregation responded: "All the time."

I left feeling thoughtful and confused.  Why didn't he even once talk directly about the election and what happened, or iterate the many things going on or the great division between people now? 

I came home and later I found this video.  I watched it and allowed myself to be awe-stuck and to wonder about all of the infinite mysteries that I will never have the answers to.  I came up with the obvious: faith. The only act I can practice over and over again is the act of faith, and to use my free will to love in the way that Jesus taught, and then I became more clear.  If we were made as humans to be all good, all the time, then we would be more like robots incapable of feeling or CHOOSING genuine love.  

My theory ; Nothing of what we are doing out there that's creating divisiveness and fear has anything to do with God. That's on us.  

I think God is always calling.

The question is:

Will we respond?