Picturing God

The Lord is my Shepherd. It’s not surprising that this image came from a culture that herded sheep. The same goes for God as a rock, a fortress and a shade on my right hand. You can bet it wasn’t the Inuit culture picturing God as shade. People have always used what they are familiar with to describe characteristics of God.

The other week Phil Bender talked about the kingdom of God being like a mustard seed. Or salt. Or light. The Bible talks about it as a sower who went out to sow, or a bridegroom, or a banquet, or a vineyard. People tried to understand their faith using the things in their own two hands. They tried to use things they understood completely to help them understand a mystery that is incomplete.

So…what images do we use today to try to understand God? Thinking about God shouldn’t be frozen in the 1st century. What do we have in our own two hands? Well, some farmers in our church still understand vineyards and sheep. But what about the rest of us? How about power tools? Is there something about power tools that can help you describe God? What about a hypodermic needle? An apartment building? A computer? A shopping mall?  Plumbing?  Telephones?  What about a bicycle or car? When you’re driving or biking or doing whatever, ask yourself, “How does this relate to the way God is working in the world?”

We have all the ingredients around us to learn about God, we just have to pay attention, and listen. What is God cooking up in church life these days? Come this Sunday and together we’ll think about God the Master Chef.

This week’s prayer: Help me use the things around me to understand You better. Open my eyes to the way You are working in my life, in our world.

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