Duration 4 Weeks
We are made in the image of God. With this likeness comes the freedom and temptation to assume the role of creator ourselves. Instead of looking for definition from God, we project our own image upon Him. We may think to ourselves, “If I were God…” As enticing as this may be, it leads to a limited view of who and how God really is. This sermon series will look at four different views humankind has imposed upon our understanding of God to discover that God cannot be put in a box.
Genesis 1:26-31 (NRSV); Luke 12:27-32 (NIV)
This is the time of year when Santa Claus is coming to town! When we think of God, are we thinking of Santa Claus or wanting a Santa Claus type of God… like a grandfather-type who is jolly, holly and gives us presents? Perhaps we think, “If I were God… I would give everyone what they wanted!” When we only think of God as giving us what we want, we come up empty handed. God indeed gives us good things and works all things for our own good, but what does “good” really mean for us in the bigger picture?
Revelation 20:12-15 (NIV); Luke 10:11-16 (NIV)
Opposite of our notions of a holly-jolly God is the image of Divine Judge. We may imagine that God is always judging us and ready to pronounce our sentence. Or we might wish for more active judgment and think: “If I were God… I would judge all the bad in the world and get rid of it.” While there is a battle waged between good and evil, thinking of God as a wrathful and angry judge is also a skewed and limited image. There is so much more. Our relationship with God may include judgement, but it does not stop there.
Psalm 103:8-18 (NRSV); Matthew 6:9-13 (NRSVACE)
Jesus often refers to God as his Heavenly Father. In scripture, there are several references to God as a Divine Parent, Mother and Father. As our creator, protector and provider, we come to liken God’s love for us as a father’s love. With that imagery, we cannot help but to consider our own parents and the quality of our relationship with them when we think about God with this image. As our own parents could not help but to be human, we can be delighted and challenged to imagine God as our Perfect Parent.
Romans 10:9-13 (NRSV); Matthew 20:1-16(NRSV)
“If only I were God… I wouldn’t have to work for faith.” And we don’t! We are not required to work for our salvation. Jesus did that for us. Grace is free, but it is not cheap. It is a gift of incredible value, but sometimes we let grace lay stagnant in our heart. Deep down, we know that we are missing out. In the words of author Priscilla Shirer, sometimes your faith needs to get a job. We work in response to our great and precious gift of faith. It could and should cost us our lives.