“Jacob called the place where God had spoken with him Bethel.”  Genesis 35:15

“Now when the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were terrified and said, ‘Truly this man was God’s Son!’”  Matthew 27:54

I recently read a book in which the subject had been asked for the specific instance when he first believed in God.  The question makes me think.  I have not seen heaven opened, angels coming and going, nor heard the voice of God.  I have not experienced an earthquake on Good Friday.  I was born into a loving, caring, family which valued a Christian education.  As far back as my memory reaches I have been in relationship with God. 

Likely, unfortunately, I often take my belief in God for granted – just not thinking about it.  Then there are countless instances when I am in awe of the marvels of God such as birth and watching babies develop and grow; the wonders of nature and animal behavior.  There are also times of anger and rebellion.  Belief doesn’t spare us troubles.  At such times I would say I have still believed, but my faith and trust in prayer were surely stretched. This week we are reminded that even Jesus asked if there might be another way.  Even Jesus questioned God’s presence while dying.  Then went on to do God’s will.  Even as Roman soldiers were convinced that Jesus is truly the Son of God, this day we see that Jesus was truly human, suffering even unto death.  Jesus knows us, understands us, yet loves us anyway.  Today is a day to ponder sin and our need for forgiveness, our mortality … and the promise of redemption.  Sunday’s coming!

Savior and Redeemer, as I worship you today, may I mourn along with your friends, may I declare along with the Roman soldiers ”Surely this man is God’s son.”  And loves us.  Amen

Verla Olson