Reverend Hans Lillijord's sermon, May 13, 2018 is online.
The Larger Perspective
Called To Be One
An American writer commented on a festival that was attended by a young group of American college students. This event was held in an East European city. The students were apprehensive because they were in a country that was not known for its political friendliness to the United States. There were many different countries which were represented, many of those also not friendly to our Country. It was not long before all fear was dissolved. The smiles on the faces of the American students was matched by the smiles of the multinational representatives around them. The event was an international dance festival. Soon the music was playing and everyone joined in the dancing.
There was no common language but the young dances from all over the world were so quickly intermixed that it was soon impossible to tell who was from where. But it didn't matter, they were all enjoying the common bond of dance and the association as members of the same human family. They had learned a truth that we all know best so often seem to forget. Beneath the screaming headlines, the political propaganda, most people are pretty much the same. People help their neighbors, help their children, want to be appreciated and would like to leave this world a little better than they found it.
It is always important to emphasize our human similarities, because we are rapidly being pulled into what social scientist call "a global village". Supersonic jet planes move people from one culture to another in a matter of hours. Orbiting satellites send words or pictures to every corner of the world in a instant. The barriers of space and time are coming down. Our separate roads are coming together and we must learn to live together on our shrinking planet.
The Heart Never Lies
There is a proverb from days gone by which is stated in a simple belief, "The Heart Never Lies."
The decision to rely on the intuition of our inner feelings in every case is certainly a subject for debate. The obvious response to this is no! Intuition should be tempered with reason. A decision that is based wholly on the basis of one's own internal response, without regard for evidence and experience is generally an unwise decision. But perhaps our reliance on modern technology in all areas of human endeavor has made us too objective, too prone to look outward for decision - making support, rather than inward to the proofs which each person carries as conscience or inspiration.
These days, we look to computers, recorders, data processors and a wide assortment of additional information systems to provide us a base for almost every major decision. So, we arrange the diagrams, the computer printouts, the statistical reports, and then we decide which stock to buy, or which market will produce the most yield or even which automobile we will buy. Then like the ostrich, which lost its wings because of its dependence on its legs, we who rely totally upon the facilities of deductive logic, may lose the powers of intuition, powers that can extend the facilities of reason and in some cases provide the answer when empirical proofs or experience fail.
Pascal, the French philosopher and mathematician, made the observation about the respective roles of intuition and reason; "The heart has reasons that reason cannot know." Pascal's defense of faith spoken over 3 hundred years ago still rings true. For these are truths that are inscribed only upon the fleshy tablets of the heart, truths which cannot be proven or disproven with logic or observation.
What is faith in God, if not the acceptance of the doctrines of belief that spring from our own internal font of knowledge?