Picture Perfect: Images of God


By Sandra Seaborn, Director of Worship
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"I can’t see you, God, so please give me a clue; Do you look like me, and do I look like you?
Are you big or little? Are you short or tall? Can you really see me when I am so small?" - “What is God Like”, Kathleen Long Bostrom
 
A velvet, glow-in-the-dark Jesus hung on my wall. When the lights were turned off, a faint green glow would emanate from the halo around his head and his robes. I would stare at the image and sometimes even rub the soft fabric while waiting for sleep. Jesus was depicted with long wavy hair, always smiling, never changing – present but not engaged as if watching unaffected by the world. While I am grateful there was a reminder of Jesus so close at hand, over time I have come to realize the distorted messages this religious souvenir communicated.  
 
Jesus is the ultimate image of God, God incarnate and immanent – taking on human form so we could see what a perfect human being is like.   
 
All of us have crafted some images of the eternal divine in our mind. We have different ways of describing in words and metaphors what God is like. Across the centuries, people of God have sought to give voice to these ideas to deepen devotion and strengthen service.
 
The Bible helps us here. Throughout the scriptures, God describes Himself in similes with tangible items such as rock and water; with the elements of the earth such as fire and wind; with animals such as the doves and lamb; and even with the intangibles of voice and light. None of these images give us a complete sense of God but each can take us a little deeper into God’s character and nature.
 
In the Picture Perfect: Images of God sermon series, we will examine a few of the images found in the Bible to help us understand the “who” we are being called to follow and emulate as Christians. Each Sunday, we will hear both an Old Testament and New Testament reading which relate to the same simile. It may feel like standing in an art gallery, seeing two photos of the same place, taken from different angles, unique but similar, enriching each other. This spring, let’s stop and look.