Where is God in Hong Kong?

By Fr. Richard Soo, SJ

A reflection in preparation for a time of guided prayer for Hong Kong. Edited and posted with permission.

Before we begin our time of guided prayer, I would first like to thank you for your feedback from our previous meeting. In particular, we received one request to teach on what God might be doing in Hong Kong. Additionally, one of the pastors in our committee received a message from a non-Christian friend asking, “Where is your God now?”

That is indeed the question of the moment. God, where are you? God, what are you doing in Hong Kong? The answer is surprisingly easy, so I will try to offer a response.

We’ll start with the second question: God, what are you doing in Hong Kong? My initial answer is that I don’t know. When people ask what God is doing, I can’t explain how God is going to bring about victory. What I can explain is that we already know God’s will. We already know God’s desire for us and for Hong Kong.

God wants our liberty. God created us in human freedom. As bearers of his image, God endowed us with human rights.

God is not for tyranny or torture. God is not for slavery or for the worship of any nation or man.

We know this from the Bible: from Genesis through Exodus, from the Prophets and the Gospels, all the way through to Revelation.

We may not know exactly what God is doing, but perhaps that’s not really our job. I would love to know what God’s happy ending for Hong Kong is. That would save me a lot of stress, and I might even be able to get some sleep! But as Christians, it is not our task to be able to explain everything. Instead, ours is to be faithful. Ours is to do what God wants us to do. Ours is to follow Jesus step by step, even when we can’t see where we are going, even in the valley of the shadow of death.

This brings us to the next question: “Where is your God now?” That’s not just a question, but one of the most pressing prayers for the church. It was the prayer of the Hebrews who were enslaved in Egypt. It was the prayer of the Israelites who wandered for forty years in the wilderness. It was the prayer of the Three Holy Youths in the fiery furnace. It was the prayer of Saints Paul and Silas as they were beaten, shipwrecked, flogged, and imprisoned in dark dungeons. It was (and is) the prayer of Christ on the cross.

Where is God? My answer to this involves trying out a short exercise. Turn your head slowly all the way to your left . . . and now turn it slowly all the way to your right. God is here, all around us, in the Body of Christ. God is here, in our midst, and in the world. And if we as the church are the temple of the Holy Spirit, then we must ask ourselves: What is the Spirit inviting and inspiring us to do?

Where is God, and what is God doing? These questions can help to guide our prayer, as they bring us face to face with our moments of darkness and light. We need the Lord’s comfort and support in our moments of darkness. But we can also discern what God is doing in Hong Kong through the moments of unexpected light.

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