The way we image or imagine what “God” is like forms the foundation of our religious beliefs. Changes in our image inevitably force changes to our way of thinking about God. An obvious case is if we were to change from imagining God as a strict judge, ready to punish, to being a compassionate, merciful, infinitely loving God. Such a change in our image would almost certainly lead to a change in the way we pray, worship and see ourselves in relationship with God – all of which in turn would surely lessen fear and lead to greater peace of mind.

Recall times in our lives when we have been led to change our image of God in some way. Why does God allow this to happen? Etc.

  1. If we change any significant way in our image of God, the effect will be not only on our personal faith and prayer, but ultimately our belief and worship will change on many levels.
  2. We need to tackle this task. We can no longer afford to carry around images of God that no longer reflects reality. What are the images of God that are relevant today to help us understand God’s creative activity, and our relationship with God.
  3. We will never fully understand the ultimate mystery that is God, a mystery beyond our comprehension. But hopefully, there will be a profound and significant shift in the nature of our questions, reflecting a more thoughtful image of God.
  4. We are not describing God; at best we are using images and thoughts that grasp at insights. Be wary that our mental model of God is actually what God is.

God is the reality that is utterly beyond anything we can describe or imagine. So we speak of God being “transcendent” ( literally, rising above, passing beyond, surmounting).

God can be “seen” and “known” in beauty and wonder of creation. God is “love” and when we live in love we live in God. God is compassion, merciful, concerned, forgiving  – these are basic insights we glean from Scripture. That is to say, the reality we name as “God” is here with, involved with, intimately connected with human experience, and indeed intimately connected with everything that exists.

Isaiah 55: 8 – “For my thoughts are not your thought, neither are your ways my ways.”