Communicating with God

by Rev Hannes Schaefer

(Published in News First, December 2004 - monthly church newsletter, Warragul Uniting Church)

After my last “News First” article Peter followed up on the technology changes that are happening everywhere. He was talking in regard to his mobile phone.

This brought me to the little song titled “Royal Telephone”, with its immediate access to God.

Unfortunately, this little song has become irrelevant, because over recent years voice mail (for some of us) has become a necessary part of our lives.

Have you ever wondered what it would be like if God decided to install voice mail?  Imagine praying and becoming aware that the call centre for God is now in Calcutta, the person on the other end is a Hindu, had to attend a crash course in Christianity and learn to sing the “Hallelujah Chorus” without an accent.  Imagine praying and hearing the following:-

Thank you for calling heaven.

        For English press 1.

        For Spanish press 2.

        For all other languages press 3.

Please select one of the following options.

        Press 1  for request.

        Press 2  for thanksgiving.

        Press 3  for complaints.

        Press 4  for all others.

I am sorry, all our Angels and Saints are busy helping other sinners right now. However, your prayer is important to us and we will answer it in the order it was received. Please stay on the line.

If you would like to speak to:-

        God, press 1.

        Jesus, press 2.

        Holy Spirit, press 3.

To find a loved one that has been assigned to heaven press 5, then enter his social security number followed by the # sign. If you receive a negative response, please hang up and dial area code 56.

For reservations to heaven, please enter JOHN followed by the numbers 3:16. For answers to nagging questions about dinosaurs, life and other planets, please wait until you arrive in heaven for the specifics.

Our computer shows that you have already been prayed for today, please hang up and call again tomorrow.

The office is now closed for the weekend to observe a religious holiday.

If you are calling after hours and need emergency assistance, please contact your local pastor.

Thank you and have a heavenly day.”

If this was the case, what a daunting situation that would be!

Our “Royal Telephone” thank goodness, is not regulated by the Communications Act, does not fall into the category of Fair Trading, is not required to have a licence, and will not be threatened by deregulation or the Companies & Corporations Act.  We don’t have to worry about the hire of the line, the phone or the answering machine.

We, as Christians, have direct access to God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit through our commitment, faith and prayer.  Our baptism is the foundation to God.  And the baptism gives us the right to call on God at any time, anywhere, for any reason.  Prayer is part of our communication with God. Many times we are too afraid to talk to God, because we believe it is of no importance.  But on the other hand we ignore prayer because God would find out who we really are.  WHAT A THREAT!

Every day I see so many people on mobile phones communicating with someone.  We should take a leaf out of the book of everyday activities that surround us and incorporate those activities into our own Christian lifestyle.

Do we talk to God on a regular basis?  Do we take time out to listen to God about the latest information?  Are we prepared to examine our foundation (baptism), our faith and who we really are, especially as we come to the Christmas celebrations, and to have all the reasons, not only to celebrate, but to be in constant communication with God?

Perhaps, in the next four weeks as we prepare for Christmas, we might have a look at the contract we went into when we signed up.  We may find now, it is time to renew our relationship with God through better communication with Him, and take time to listen.

This time of the year is of great interest, as this little Christ child has not much to say, but through God we have become aware that our relationship with God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit has been transformed.  And our response to all this is to keep the communication OPEN.