Where is God?

Thursday. March 19, 2020


Hello my friends,


In frightening times like these it’s hard not to wonder, if not ask out loud, “Where is the God who loves us?” The faithful have struggled with this question through the ages, yet no one seems to have come up with a satisfactory answer - at least to my mind. Through all trials and tribulations — in war, famine, pestilence, slavery, captivity, exile, dislocation, all sorts of natural disaster, pandemic and despair — God’s people continue wrestling with this contradiction.


But what if the question is an assertion of hope, arising from faith in an all-powerful and all-loving God who actually cares for us. Perhaps struggling to make sense of evil in the presence of a loving God is itself an affirmation of faith.


One Sunday back in the fall I played the song God Don’t Never Change by Blind Willie Johnson. At the song’s conclusion a silence filled the meetinghouse as we sat in awe. Born in Texas at the end of the 19th Century into a family of sharecroppers, Johnson was an ordained Baptist preacher and evangelist whose mission took him throughout the South and beyond. Johnson was given his first guitar when he was five years old and taught himself how to play. He was blinded when he was seven. Blind Willie Johnson is considered one of the great composers and performers of the blues.


What moves me most about God Don’t Never Change is the seeming contradiction between its music and lyrics. Johnson’s weighty, gravelly voice and the sad longing of the blues places the song knee-deep in a world full of suffering and uncertainty. But the lyrics are an affirmation of his faith that God is God, unchanging, and with us throughout life’s struggles.


Below are the lyrics. You can go to YouTube.com and type in God Don’t Never Change(or click on this link) to listen to this great bluesman sing the Good News.


I invite all of you to join me in virtual worship Sunday. I will prerecord a message and plan to make it available by 10:00 a.m. I invite your prayers as this will be a first for me. Feel free to share your experience with me and others so we may improve in the weeks ahead.


May the peace of Christ be with you this evening and tomorrow, and all your days ahead.

Shepard


God Don’t Never Change written by W. Johnson

Yes, God, God don’t never change

He’s God, always will be God

God in the middle of the ocean

God in the middle of the sea

By the help of the great creator

Truly been a God to me

He’s, God, God don’t never change

God, always will be God

God in creation

God when Adam fell

God way up in heaven

God way down in hell

He’s God, God don’t never change

God, always will be God

Spoke to the mountain

Said how great I am

Want you to get up this morning

Skip around like a lamb

Well he’s God, God don’t never change

God, always will be God

God in the time of sickness

God in the doctor too

In the time of the influenza

He truly was a God to you

Well he’s God, God don’t never change

God, always will be God

God in the pulpit

God way down at the door

He’s God in the amen corner

God all over the floor

Well he’s God, God don’t never change

God, always will be God

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