Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Have you ever asked yourself or heard someone else ask the following question: “If God is so good and loving and if God is omnipotent, (all powerful) omniscient (all knowing) and omnipresent, then why is there evil in the world?”  Many theologians have sought to answer this question of the problem of evil.  The question raises questions about God’s attributes and character.  When you or someone else asked that question, you were doing theology, which is the study of God.  Some might say such theological questions are not extremely relevant to our daily lives.  I would like to suggest that the answers to these questions are very relevant to our daily lives.  For example, if we believe God is partial, favoring some people group over another people group, we will probably show partiality.  Our view of God can influence our values.  Over the course of the next three weeks, we are going to explore some of God’s attributes and how they inform our values as individuals and as a congregation.  

Our scripture for this Sunday is Psalm 36.  This psalm begins with a description of the behavior of the wicked.  It ends with a petition in the midst of the wicked. In between the psalmist praises God and prays.  This framework, suggests that the psalmist faces some opposition and threat, but proclaims a greater reality found in God. The psalmist proclaims, “Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens.”  This is an image of God’s love being unbounded, it extends to the heavens, which is above all.  Later, in verse 7 the psalmist professes that “all people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings.”  Not some people, but all people.  God welcomes all people.  As the apostle Peter said in Acts 10:34 “I now understand that God does not show favoritism.”  God’s welcoming of all people doesn’t mean all people will take refuge. In fact the psalmist describes those who choose not to find refuge in God.  But God desires all people to come to repentance and acknowledge their dependence upon God. 
When this becomes our view of God, it affects our interactions with others on a daily basis.  If God does not show favoritism, then why should I? 

Pastor Dave