“My God, My God, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me?” – Psalm 22:1, Matthew 27:46
Whenever people gather (in person or online) in Jesus’ name, God is present among them. But in the Bible God reveals his power and glory in god-forsaken places more than he does houses of worship.
A group of gypsies living in the desert become pathetic brick makers for an empire. Their first born males are being killed as a form of population control. God hears their cries, claims them as His people and delivers them from slavery.
Centuries later their offspring are defeated by another mighty empire and held in captivity in Babylon. In Bible times Babylon represents a world alienated from God. In this god-forsaken country God again delivers them from their captors and brings them home.
Centuries later a young teenager becomes pregnant before her marriage ceremony. She is likely shamed by her neighborhood, but she carries the life of God inside of her.
God takes on human flesh and becomes a carpenter in a town so insignificant that it barely makes the history books. This simple peasant travels around the country healing the sick, freeing the demon possessed and preaching good news to the hopeless.
The Romans execute him on cross, crushing the hopes of His followers. After 3 dark days He is raised from the dead.
These are more than stories to be told on Sunday morning. They are the key to understanding where God is to be found – in god forsaken places where there is little or no expectation.