Response to 'If there is a God'
To the Editor:
Regarding the letter to the editor from Pat Lee in the Caledonian-Record, "If There is a God" ... I am a retired Episcopal Priest in the Diocese of Vermont, and was serving as a supply priest for St. Peter's Episcopal Mission, 51 Elm St., Lyndonville, last Sunday. I took this letter to church and during the sermon engaged the people in conversation as to how they would reply to Pat's questions. I am enclosing their answers along with a request that you consider printing them.
1. Yes, Pat, there is a God.
2. Why do we have wars? People make war. They make war because of greed, lust for power, control, because of oppressive and unjust leaders. It is far easier to make war than to end one, and making peace begins with each one of us.
3. Do millions of people die? Yes, however we all die, some sooner and some later. Some people die from natural causes which means they have lived out their days. Some die in war, some due to diseases, and others from tragic accidents. We believe "life is changed, not ended."
4. All religions voted for God, and Obama won? God's name did not appear on the ballot. People elect Presidents and other officials, and people choose to serve God or not.
5. Do babies die and make me cry? Yes. Babies are born and some live only a few hours, a few days, a few months or a few years. We feel sad, and we cry. Some unborn never get a chance. People choose to carry a baby to full term, and some choose not to. We all have flaws and make poor choices from time to time. Our poor choices often have unhappy endings. Hopefully we can learn from our poor choices. At St.Peter's we are thankful for a loving, merciful, and patient God who gives the human race the freedom to make choices. This same God hears us when we ask for forgiveness, and helps us heal when our poor choices harm others. We have only to ask for help, and for God's grace so we do not have to do the same dumb mistake again. We ask, and follow through on our decision to learn how to make a better choice.
6. Are Jews the chosen ones, I feel we are all equal? Yes. However, they are not more holy in God's eyes
7. They were chosen to do a particular task for God. God needed a nation of people who would be willing to serve as a "light to enlighten the nations" enabling other people to come to know God. In the eyes of God we are equal, and can be asked to serve God in different ways. Our priest is not more holy than we are, she just serves God in a different role.
8. Why do God's people die? We all die. Our physical bodies wear out. God's people know that what we call death is a new beginning.
9. Why does it not rain $100 bills so we all can be equal and stop thinking about money and take care of the earth? Raining $100 bills would not make us all equal. We agree there is a big gap between those who have a lot, and those who can barely eke by. People can choose to share or not. People can choose to respect the dignity of other human beings and animals or not. If we decide to make better choices it would go a long way towards the redistribution of wealth. All to often we judge others without listening to their problem in order to find the best way to be helpful. There are many little things we can do to improve the way we care for the earth and those little things can make a big difference.
10. Why God? We wonder if God inspired you to write your letter to the editor, because if you had never written it, we would not have the opportunity to have this conversation. It certainly sparked our worship on Sunday morning. We'd love to have you come to St. Peter's. Our service is at ten, and are never dull, We think God would like to have us meet each other. You sound as though you would keep us on our toes! Thank you and blessings from The people of St. Peter's.
The Rev. L. Jeannette McKnight