Often when I write for a local magazine, I write about a film, a book, a TV program, or something in the news. I write as a minister, and I write about these things because I care about them and I believe that in every aspect of our human lives, there is something about God. And so these things that I am interested in – and which maybe you share, all connect in some way with faith.
People often say to me ‘I’m not religious’ or ‘I don’t believe in God’. And sometimes when I ask about the God they don’t believe in, I find that I don’t believe in that God either. The bible contains many word-pictures of God. God is like a father, God is nurturing like a mother, God rules like a king, God is tender like a lover, God shapes our lives like a potter – and so on. The pictures are all important – they all speak truth about God, they all help our imagination. But they are also all limited – they all have their problems in different ways.
Another way that the Bible speaks of God by way of a question: Who is like you?
The implied answer – ‘No-one is like You!
No-one is like God – all of our words are too limited. Calling God ‘him’ is too limited – because God is not a male – ‘he’ has feminine attributes also. Even calling God ‘Creator’, is too limited, because it suggests that God kicked things off at the beginning, and then pushed off somewhere else – far away and unattainable – Not true! The Bible speaks of God ‘in whom we live and move and have our being’. God belongs too no-one, is answerable to no-one, resists any attempt to completely describe God.
So as well as the Bible’s pictures, we need the Bible’s question: ‘Who is like you?’ For those who already have faith, those words are worship. But for the unconvinced asking ‘What are you like, God?’ is praying a prayer – It’s a prayer that God will always answer.
Why not try it?