"The Image of God" - Monday Moment - January 31, 2022

Updated: May 26


Happy Monday, Folks!


For 12 of the last 13 weeks, I have sent you a Monday Moment and in that time we began sending them to a subscription list and posting them on the LOVEboldly website. I enjoy hearing from you about how these short reflections touch you and your lives. But over the last two or three weeks I’ve been struggling for inspiration. Starting this week, I’m challenging myself with a new series of Monday Moments by drawing on lines from Nicene Creed. I hope this series will continue to nourish the beginning of your weeks.


The creed begins: “I believe in one God, the Father almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all things visible and invisible.”


I imagine many of you grew up with a picture of God as an old, white man with a long beard sitting on a throne. Perhaps your vision of this God wore a crown and rained down fearful judgement or maybe God was more a loving grandfather who waited to embrace you. Often our image of God is highly influenced by a Eurocentric, colonial, white supremacist ideal where white and male is perfection. However, God is rarely if ever described in physical terms in the Bible. In The Librarian, a largely second-rate Indian Jones style movie, the main character must answer the question “What is the name of God?” He thinks through the many names humans have given to God: “Allah,” “Jehovah,” “Yahweh,” not to mention the pantheon of names of gods across many religions and societies. Finally, as a frustrated joke, he says “me…you.” This is the correct answer. Living in humans, God is us and we are God, and God continues to be God.


There is a sticker on my Bible which says: “God was the first singular they/them.” At one time in my life God was the tender grandfather, but as I’ve explored my faith further, I have come to see God as so much greater and more diverse than the limited human labels we might apply to God. Speaking to Moses, God said “I am who am” (Exodus 3:14). God is who was, who is, and who will be forever. To say more or less than that is to create God in the image we need God to be for us. There’s nothing wrong with creating “our God” as long as we don’t confuse our God with God and make other people worship our God instead of God. Who is God then? God is love and a love that is all encompassing, unable to be contained, of every gender, of every race, of every sexual orientation, and of every identity.


Who is your God? Where do you find God?


Let us pray: God of so many names, appearances, and ways of being, help us see you in our limited definitions and in the full majesty of your realness. May we see you in each other, because you see you in us. Amen.


Blessings, friends, on your week! Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

Faithfully,


Ben