Today’s Word: ‘IMAGINE’ as in… how do you imagine God? A baby? Really?
Respond with either True or False to these statements:
- “I can trust God no matter what.”
- “Sometimes God leaves us on our own.”
- “God is patient with us even when we’re impatient.”
- “When God seems distant, God really is distant.”
- “God is always present in my life.”
- “We can trust God even when we can’t ‘see’ God.”
Your responses actually say a lot about your image of God. When we try to imagine God, all kinds of images come to mind. We might imagine a grandpa or grandma, a friend or even a parent. We might imagine a teacher or a judge, or perhaps even something completely different than all of those things!
A friend of mine imagines God as the color blue.
For her, Blue is sacred, strong, nurturing; Blue is comforting and a creative way of “experiencing God.”
How do you imagine God? How was your image of God shaped, and who helped shape that image? Has that always been your image of God? Has that image ever changed? Do you have more than one, or even a few images of God? Honestly, how would you draw, describe, or paint God?
This is tough enough for adults! Imagine what it’s like for kids!
“America’s Four Gods” is a website that examines the different ways Americans perceive God. The developers, Paul Froese and Christopher Bader contend that people in America see God in basically four ways: Authoritative, Benevolent, Critical or Distant. The website is set up to poll people on their views. It’s not very scientific; doesn’t need to be, but it is interesting to take the poll. One of the God-images displayed showed Jesus washing feet and I indicated that that image represented God to me “Very Well.” As it turned out, 54% of the people polled indicated the same.
As the season of Advent continues, we continue to make room for all kinds of ways to imagine God “moving into our neighborhood.”
But a baby? A baby in a manger? Really?
Yes, a baby, really.