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Images of God

February 27, 2009

We all have images of God.  At times we struggle with reconciling God’s transcendence with God’s immanence.  He is both and, not either or.  I grew up with very strict and narrow images of God.  Some of my images of God filtered through what I thought was or was not God’s blessing upon our nation, others, or myself.  Part of our discovery of knowing God comes as we discover our false images of God.  Throughout the semester we have different readings and at times I am confronted with a false image of God that limits who God is and my attempts to keep God in the box of my creation.  These are often subtle — in fact they would appear quite “christian” but they are false. (Yes I am intentionally ending the thought for now).

I am realizing more and more that when faced with holding “tension” — the both and we want to swing the pendulum to one or the other–to either or.  In addition to our weekly reading and online discussion we are reading The Shack (William Young) and The River Within (Jeff Imbach).  Many people have the read The Shack, several weeks ago I was talking with someone who was quite uncomfortable with one of the characters for God — God was too personal, it was irreverent.  For this person God’s immanence was taking central place with God’s transcendence stepping into the background. This was something that was uncomfortable and just didn’t feel right.  Why is that so?  (By the way we need to remember this book is a novel).

I have been thinking about my friend’s response and I have realized something that perhaps you have already realized:  Jesus set aside his transcendence to be present with us.  Absolutely everything. The advent makes this time of lent an invitation to see the deep measure of God’s love and commitment to covenant with us.

During our Images of God class at F2F Melanie Weidner, an artist and spiritual director living in Portland, OR, came and spent an hour with our class.  It was one of the highlights of our 7 days of study (yes there were many highlights).  check out Melanie’s work and her website (pretty cool) at http://www.listenforjoy.com.

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