Summary: This sermon is about listening to the voice of God foillowing a national tragedy or disaster such as a Tsunamii.

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Illustration: Someone sent me an e-mail this week entitled "Thanks for your e-mails in 2004". It wasn’t really in response to my e-mails, but deals with the volumes of e-mails that are passed from person to person. Here’s what the thank you letter says: (4) "Thanks to everyone who sent me such important emails in 2004! It’s so great that you included me in your quest to inform:

Because of all of you I stopped drinking Coca-Cola after I found out from you that it’s good for removing toilet stains. I no longer drink Pepsi or Dr. Pepper since the people who make these products are atheists who refuse to put "Under God" on their cans.

I stopped going to the movies for fear of sitting on a needle infected with a disease. I smell awful, but thank goodness I stopped using deodorant because you said it causes cancer. I no longer use Saran wrap in the microwave because it causes cancer.

I don’t leave my car in any parking lot even though I sometimes have to walk about seven blocks, because you said that someone might drug me with a perfume sample and then try to rob me. I no longer receive packages from UPS or FedEx since they are actually Al Qaida in disguise. I no longer shop at Target since they are French and don’t support our American troops

I also stopped answering the phone because you said that they will ask me to dial a stupid number and then I get a high phone bill with calls to Uganda, Singapore, Tokyo and maybe the Mars Rover. I stopped eating chicken and hamburgers because you told me they are nothing more than horrible mutant freaks with no eyes or feathers that are bred in a lab so that places like McDonald’s can sell their Big Macs.

I also stopped drinking anything out of a can - you said that I will get sick from the rat faeces and urine. When I go to parties, I now don’t mix with anybody - you said that someone will take my kidneys and leave me taking a nap in a bathtub full of ice.

However, the police are also after me at present because you said not to pull over as they could be fake policemen trying to kidnap me. I no longer buy expensive cookies from Neiman Marcus since I now have their recipe. I no longer worry about my soul because I have 363,214 angels looking out for me. I no longer have any savings because I gave it to a sick girl who is about to die in the hospital (for the 1,387,258th time). I went bankrupt from bounced checks that I wrote, in anticipation of the $15,000 that Microsoft and AOL were supposed to send me when I participated in their special e-mail program. It’s weird, though, that my new free cell phone never arrived, and neither did the passes for my paid vacation to Disneyland. But I am positive that all this is because of the chain I broke or the one I forgot to follow and I got a curse. OOPS I ALMOST FORGOT, IMPORTANT NOTE:

If you don’t send this e-mail to at least 1200 people in the next ten seconds, a bird will make a deposit on you tomorrow. The fleas of a thousand camels will infest your armpits. I know this will occur because it actually happened to a friend of a friend of a friend ......

If you’ve ever done "e-mail" I trust that you have all had a "friend" who have sent you one of those messages. 99.9% of which have no bearing on real life, especially amidst current world events. In the wake of the Tsunami, do you find yourself asking "where was God?" Or "Why did God allow this to happen?" I heard one survivor, a Brittish woman being interviewed, and the reporter asked "How do you see God in all this?". The woman said "I find myself asking God, why?" She went on to say, "Though I may never know the answer, it is still okay to ask Him why?"

Web Columnists Joan Ryan writes "In the aftermath of the southern Asia tsunami that took more than 150,000 lives, people ask: "Why did this horror happen? Why did God allow it?’’ I hesitate to raise the questions at all, knowing the answers will raise only more questions. But an event of this scale -- biblical, some have said -- has even nonreligious people grappling with the nature of God and the purpose of suffering." (1)

I found weblogger after weblogger who was asking this question. Too many to search and too many to document. One weblogger was called the "MessyChristian" (2). I’m not sure I even wanted to ask the story behind that name. Max Lucado deals with the question in his book "Eye of the Storm" ((c) 1991). Job has just lost everything but his wife. Even she tells him to "curse God and die". The young minister Elihu appears and offers little to no comfort with his words. "Job slowly tunes him out and slides lower and lower under the covers. His head hurts. His eyes burn. His legs ache. Yet the question still hasn’t been answered: "God, why is this happening to me?" So God speaks. "Out of the thunder he speaks. Out of the sky, eh speaks. For all of us who would put ditto marks under Job’s question and sign our anmes to it, he speaks.

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