Across generations, the people of God have created metaphors and imagery to explain God, imagine God, and relate to God. Children asked to draw God will often picture someone who cares for them and teaches them about God. As adults, how we imagine God can have a subtle but profound impact on how we live our faith.
What does God look like? The Bible gives us lots of imagery for God
Is God a He? Yes, especially when we’re talking about the human/divine Jesus. For all of God, She and They (singular) are also appropriate.
Does the way we imagine God affect how we live our faith? Yes.
Find an image from art or life that helps you imagine God and journal about what that picture says to your faith.
Spend some time with a scripture that images God. Pray through it and respond to it by creating visual art that reflects what it teaches you about God.
Ask someone else how they see God and mediate on their answer and how it relates to you.
Gather images of God from Christians around the world. Study what each one reflects about their culture and God. Create a devotion or series of devotions around the images and share them with your Sunday School or Small Group.
Though we won’t often admit it, we all like to know our boundaries. What is the minimal effort required, what is the most that is acceptable. We might not always color inside the lines, but we like knowing where the lines are. So perhaps we find ourselves asking questions like: What is the least you can believe and still be Christian? or What must I do to be saved? The questions are eternal, and so is the answer. As Jesus said, love the Lord your God and love your neighbor as yourself.
Does everyone need salvation? Yes
Does Christ offer salvation to everyone? Yes
Do I have to go to church to be saved? God does the work of salvation, church helps us grow in our love for God and neighbor.
James exhorts us to pray in the midst of suffering and celebration. Paul tells us to pray without ceasing. Again and again we hear the power of prayer exhorted. But exhortation doesn’t necessarily answer all our questions. There is great power in prayer, and it is an essential part of our faith life. But what if that power is bigger and wilder than what we imagine with our well loved platitudes.
Does God always hear our prayers? Yes
Why doesn’t God answer every prayer? God always answers, just not always in the way we expect or with what we hoped for; sometimes the answer is no, or not right now.
If God is in control of everything, do our prayers matter? Yes.