Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Talking About God
Talking about God isn’t something at which Christians are always proficient. In many ways, we have learned to talk around the subject of God, but not so much about God. And that is too bad. I have long believed that the church should be the place where we can voice our thoughts as well as our doubts and questions without fear of reproach or reprisal and therefore it should be the place where we can talk about God freely and openly.
That isn’t always the case. Again, that is too bad.
This week I begin a series on God. The overall series, entitled “God of the Ages” is designed to offer some foundational ideas about God. The reason is that talking about God is difficult. Part of the problem in talking about God is that our source of information on God, the Bible, isn’t always as clear as we would wish. In some places God is described as a person walking in a garden. In other places, God is a pillar of fire, the power that leads us beside still waters or, as the book of Daniel names God, “the Ancient of Days.”
A bit complicated.
Perhaps it is complicated because the nature of God is so vast and beyond description and comprehension that we will struggle with the concept of God by default. But there are some signposts along the way that can provide a framework in which we can begin to understand the Biblical witness about God.
The first idea is to think of God as light. While we hear that God creates light in Genesis, we also can think of God as light in that God seeks to be illuminating.
The second idea is that God is boundless. While that might not sound like much of an idea, we need to recognize that in the Bible, the idea of God as having no boundaries was radical. God was limited, or so it was believed, to a particular geographic region. However, by the end of the book of Exodus, the ancient theologians had begun to think of God quite differently: boundless.
The third idea is that God is love. This idea is perhaps the most easy to comprehend, but the most disturbing and distressing to all involved. What does it mean to have a God described by the word ‘love’? We will think about that together.
I hope that you will be with us in our community of faith as we talk about the subject that is so foundational for our existence – God of the Ages.