We Become Our Image of God
Some years ago a spiritual director and writer referred to the historical novel The Source by James Michener. Minchener tells the story of a Canaanite Village in pre-biblical days. These Canaanites worshiped numerous gods to whom they offered human sacrifice in the belief that if they sacrificed the life of their firstborn son, the gods would be so pleased that the gods would enable the Canaanites to bear many children and their legacy would go on for many generations. Timna, the protagonist of the story, can’t accept the sacrifice of her firstborn son. She protests, pleads and resists, but to no avail. Her husband sacrifices her son. Grieving deeply, as she slowly walks home, she reflects on what has happened, and with new and painful clarity says: “With a different god, my husband would be a different man.”
In our world today, so much happens in the name of God and religion. Sometimes we can say: with a different God, we would have a different world, a different country, a different neighborhood, and different religious beliefs and practices. What would our times look like if we believed in the God described in the Psalms: God is gracious and forgiving, slow to anger and full of kindness. God’s love is steadfast and tender reaching to all creation. Jesus acted so everyone’s life would flourish. He loved inclusively so all would feel safe, valued, connected and have a sense of belonging. He excluded no groups, races, social classes, sinners, women, or non-Jews. He loved those we call the enemies, the social outcasts, the unworthy ones. He prayed that all may be one in God and with one another.
Let us believe in a Universe, begun over 14 billion years ago, always immersed in God’s presence and a love that pervades, permeates, embraces and loves you, me and all creation.
How we see ourselves has everything to do with how we see God and how we see others. Let us make sure our God is the kindest, most loving and forgiving person we know. We become our image of God.