“We are not in God’s hands. We are God’s hands. It is our job to take this world as we find it and make it better. In general, I think those who are inspired by God are more active than others, but there are many, many exceptions. Oxfam, my favorite charity, is thoroughly secular.
What is God doing in the meantime? I like the answer ofCharles Hartshorne. God rejoices in our joys, and sorrows in our sorrow. Lots of people seem to think that a God like that is hardly worth worshiping. My answer is that if you want a God of infinite might, then you are worshiping power, not goodness.
I’m a Christian, and so I’m expected to think that Christ was a great event in history. I do, but not for the usual reasons. Jesus Christ is not my personal savior (whatever that means), but I don’t think he was just a wise teacher either. The story of Christ is the story of a God who allowed himself to become human and suffer as humans do in order that he might know more about us, his creation, and so that we can imagine a God who is not all powerful. In other words, God became human so that he could know us, and we him. If so, then basic human standards of good and evil must apply even to God. It’s good to worship God because God is good. Just not all powerful.
Lots of people, probably the vast majority of Christians, believe that Christ was never fully human, for he performed many miracles. The Nicene Creed says Christ was both fully human and fully God, which doesn’t really help. The Gospel of John treats Christ as though he was just pretending to be human.
What’s so great about Christ’s journey is his vulnerability, his willingness to be forsaken and humiliated as only a human can be. The Old Testament, as Christians call it, has most of the great Bible stories, but the story of Christ is a really great story, particularly if we read it not primarily as a promise of salvation, but as a story about God’s limits. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me.” (Mark 15:34; Matthew 27:46) Who could say this but a God torn in two, doubting even himself for a moment? As all of us, including the most tenacious, have doubted God. (Christ’s cry is not just a reference to Psalm 22; he was not teaching Bible studies.)”