On a rainy Sunday morning, I sit at the crosspoint of the celebration church, surrounded by other believers, awaiting the arrival of our pastor, John Church Hamilton, to lead us in a hymn.
As we sit around a large, wooden table in the middle of the church, Hamilton opens the Bible and starts to read from the beginning of Genesis 1:26-27, the first verse of the book of Genesis.
He is reading a portion of the Old Testament, as the Bible was called before it was renamed the New Testament.
I sit quietly in the corner, staring at the book.
He has the words to God, Hammers words, written in his heart.
It is the first time I have ever seen him with his eyes closed.
It has never happened before.
We all stare in awe at the moment of God’s Word becoming flesh, God’s promise that He would return with His Word and that the Word would come again, that He will be in the heavens again and in the earth again.
Hamilton has never seen a person in the whole of the world, in any place, and in this moment in history, he has never been able to be alone.
In the next room, we sit and listen as he begins to tell us about the people who have come from all over the world to this place in Florida.
I look up from my book, and see that I am surrounded by the faces of people who had left their homes, had left this world.
People who are now in heaven.
People waiting for God to come back.
People on the cross.
I am so grateful that my mother was not able to witness that moment.
When Hamilton finishes, I look back up to see that it is all gone.
I have lost my faith, and I have gained my faith.
I want to believe in a God who will never, ever, ever return.
I think about the many things that I have heard about God returning to Earth, and what God has done.
I pray to God that He is always coming back.
I can’t imagine that this is God’s plan.
What a wonderful, wonderful plan.
I also want to pray that God will always be coming back to this world, to the people here, the people in this church.
I’m not sure that God has always been back, but He has always come back to these people, to this church, and he has always taken us on this journey.
When I say that God is coming back, I mean that he is coming to this planet, to us, and that he will be with us forever.
As the pastor, Hammons eyes close and he begins again to read, “And God said unto him, Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.
And he went, and made disciples, and baptized them in all the coasts of the sea, in the midst of the coasts.
And there was not found among them a prophet, or any wise man, or wise woman, or rabbi, or teacher of any wisdom, or one who had any gift or understanding; but God said, Go ye and teach all nations.”
It is a very powerful statement.
The Bible is a powerful, very, very powerful text.
I believe it.
The Lord has called us to read this, to understand this.
He said, I will give you the Bible.
I will be your guide, your teacher.
I mean, God is our guide, our teacher, His Word is our teacher.
God is the source of all wisdom, of all knowledge, of God is all knowledge.
He can’t be understood by a person, or a child, or anybody who is not a believer in God.
He cannot be understood.
This is God, and we are His disciples, we are the ones who are going to learn.
I feel like God is speaking through me.
I know God.
I hear God.
There is nothing else.
God spoke to me.
God said to me, “Do you believe in God?”
And I said, Yes, God, I do.
He says, Go, learn it, and learn it.
I say, Yes.
He goes, “You will go, and you will learn it.”
I say yes.
I come back, and this is what I come here for, to come here and to learn about God.
God says, “Come to this circle, and there you will find your true Father.”
And I say no, no, I don’t believe in Him, I am not the same person that I was when I was in the church.
So this is where I am, this is the circle of life, this circle of faith, this God.
We are here to learn the true Father of all things. We