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Our Current Virtual Church Message

Godfridge

Exodus 20:3 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (KJV)

In a homeless camp near Washington DC, there was a refrigerator. The refrigerator was old and beat up. In the camp, the in the dazed, crazed, stoned, drugged, and drunken world of the camp, the refrigerator was God. Nobody made fun of the refrigerator. Nobody made jokes about the refrigerator. God the refrigerator was serious business. The light inside the refrigerator was the thing. The light was "on" all the time. The only problem was, there was no power cord. Someone had cut off the power cord years ago. Then the singing started. For reasons no one knows anything about, people who came close to the refrigerator started singing. On a slow news day when the news beast needed to be fed a human interest story, news people heard about the refrigerator and came to see. A news story ran about the refrigerator. Then the real circus began.

A lot of people said the refrigerator would sway with music. After the news story ran, with hundreds of people coming to the camp to see "Godfridge" as the refrigerator was called, things were getting serious in the camp. As serious as things were getting, there was joy and laughter. A local priest, minister, and rabbi who got together for coffee and mostly donuts on Thursday morning decided to put an end to all the hubbub regarding God the refrigerator. So after donuts and coffee the three went out to the camp. What had been an abandoned lot with trees, weeds, and bushes, was now teeming with people. There was such a celebration going on with so many people, Godfridge was hard to see. The homeless folk had sort of cordoned off space around Godfridge so no one could touch it. The priest, minister, and rabbi did get close enough to see the light was "on" and the door was open. Now power cord was evident. None of the three clergy could explain the light. The next day a strong gust of wind blew the refrigerator door shut. Not a problem! The celebration continued. Some brave soul under threat of death tried to open the door but the door was stuck shut. With the door development, things seemed to even intensify. Some business people from down the street offered to take Godfridge on a tour of D.C. A large flat bed truck was rented and the refrigerator was put on the truck. The tour was not announced. The truck pulled away from the homeless camp and everyone followed. The further the truck moved away, the more people followed. A few hundred quickly turned into several thousand or more. There was joyful singing, shouting, and celebrating in the streets. Word spread in a flash.

The joy came from realizing God was a refrigerator. After all these years, all these centuries of doubt, disbelief, and skepticism, now we knew. Whatever you wanted, all you had to do was open the door and reach in. The best part was you didn't have to do anything. All you had to do was join the joy of the moment. Believing was easy.

Within hours, the networks, wire services, and the internet picked up the story. News flashed around the world. Every half hour every media outlet carried an update. Millions of people from all over the world were on their way to D.C. to celebrate with Godfridge. Millions were not headed to D.C. to see the Lincoln Memorial, The Wall, or the White House. Millions wanted to experience Godfridge. The whole world had gone Woodstock.

As a result of the Godfridge mania, traffic around D.C. was not moving. Phone lines were jammed to overload. Every politico was dieing to get face time on any channel to be associated with the refrigerator. Everything was in shutdown mode. The essential functions of government were secretly transferred to another part of the country. Goofiness reigned. Godfridge celebrations were breaking out all around the world.

Then on a Thursday afternoon about 2:30 a shadow formed over Godfridge. No on knows where the shadow came from but all of a sudden Godfridge wasn't rocking to the music any more. Suddenly, Godfridge fell over on it's/his/her back. The crowd went silent. The world stood silent. Godfridge wasn't rocking. The shadow vanished a few seconds after Godfridge landed on it's/his/her back. A little boy in the crowd spoke the awful truth. The little boy said "It died!"

Repairmen were helo'd in to see if Godfridge could be revived. After inspection, the repairmen shock their head "No." Godfridge had done a final flop-a-roonie. Crowds dispersed. Satellite trucks drove away. Joy in the streets ended. Godfridge was taken back to the homeless camp, set in its familiar spot, and the door fell off.

Commentators, writers, theologians, bloggers, and whoever else who had an opinion talked about the Godfridge phenomenon. Here is my take.

From The Worldly Perspective

For many people, a refrigerator is a whole lot more useful than God. For many people, if you can't go to God and get what you want, then you can take God to the dump or consider God has done a final flop-a-roonie, i.e., God is dead. What good is God if God isn't going to give out? If you can't put your hands on God to reach in and get a cold drink, who needs Him? If you can't name it, claim it, and get it, who needs God?

From A More Godly Perspective

People need God. People are desperate for God to be real in their life. Even for people who we consider to be people of faith, even for them, God can best be conceived of as a person of three dimensions. God is best conceived of as a person with width, height, and length. To go beyond three dimensions with respect to God one has to have the ability to conceive of an inkling of the infinite which we cannot easily do. The reality about God is this…God is infinite. God has infinite dimensions. God is timeless. God does not age. God does not keep a clock next to His bedside. God does not use a calendar to tell what day, month, and year we are in. God's power is infinite. God's creative ability is infinite. God's wisdom is infinite. If we knew the truth, even God's creations (His creations within His creations) are infinite. God is hyper-dimensional and supernatural. God is not linear. God does not move from one moment to the next because God is beyond our moments. Christ as God walks with us and talks with us as well as doing and being infinite in infinitely things in infinitely other places at infinitely other times in infinite realities. We have no way to assess the magnitude of God because we cannot assess or measure infinity. We cannot measure infinity because we will not live long enough to do so. We know our time is limited but His time is not. We can do some things. God can do anything, anywhere, at any time. Indeed, it is easier to conceive of God as a refrigerator than conceive of God. Christ came into the world so we would have a three-dimensional idea of who God is. Sinful as we are, we crucified Him. We crucified infinite love. We crucified infinite forgiveness. We crucified infinite compassion, caring, healing, and creation power. The lowest moment in human history was when we crucified Christ. The grandest moment in human history was when He walked out of the tomb to give us hope for infinite life with Him in infinite love and infinite time.

The message appeared in September,  2010, in the Virtual Church web site at http://www.findthepower.com

 

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Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

Scripture quotations marked (RSV) are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Copyright © 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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Shepherd's Care Ministries author and webmaster, Rev. Patrick Kelly, is affiliated through ministerial ordination with Church of God Ministries, Anderson IN 46018