- http://lockwoodchurch.org/media (Listening time: 25 minutes)
The most religious thing I heard when I was a boy – and I heard it often – was from my mother: “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” I hardly thought about God at all but, if I had, I could not have imagined him playing in the dirt with me, or riding a bike through mud puddles, or crawling through the damp, narrow cave at Cascade Park.
All of us start with distorted ideas of God. He’s a celestial policeman, looking to bust us for having a little fun. He’s an upscale version of the most religious person we know – all into candles and hymns and long prayers. He’s a kind of cosmic vending machine, spitting out favors … but only if our account is sufficiently funded by good deeds.
Jesus helped people see God clearly and, in doing so, debunked many false ideas about him. Because of Jesus, people who thought God disliked them discovered that he really loved and wanted them. When they walked away from a meeting with Jesus, they were saying, “Wow!” about God.