What God are we talking about?

Animate Faith #1

Brian McLaren write, “Sometimes, when I hear people speak about God, I feel like an atheist. The God they speak of, I don’t believe in: a God who loves Christians but hates [other faiths]; a God who pours luxuries on the rich but consigns the poor to to poverty; or a God who cares about human souls but not about conserving and protecting our beautiful, fragile planet. So, if you ask me, “Is God real?” I first have to ask, “Which God are we talking about and what do you mean by God?””

No one is perfect but God and therefore any understanding I have of God is at best small and incomplete. In my life I never cease to be amazed at how mysterious and yet knowable God is. The God who sparked existence into being is the same God who shines in the smiles of my children. The God who hand-made every atom and molecule is the same God who knows the infinite expanse of a broken heart. The God who placed in the minds of humankind a desire to know him is the same God who desires exponentially more to know us and show us his love.

The God who places in the hearts of people a yearning to comprehend things of the Spirit is the same God who similarly makes us aware of how little we can ever know in that regard. The God of scripture is a God of contradictions; the last shall be first and the first shall be last, power perfected in weakness, God who seeks out the sinner and judges the righteous, the God who brings new life out of death.

To think that I might know the nature and truth about God is folly. God is holy mystery and all that I can know of God often comes through unexpected moments of sheer grace; whispers of the Holy Spirit, gratitude, connections with other people, daily miracles that bring me to tears.

What God do I believe in? The God who is continually reaching out and drawing people into communion with himself and with each other; no barriers, no rules, no exclusions, no exceptions!!

“I give you a new commandment,” Jesus said, “that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will  know you are my disciples.” (John 13:34-35)


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