Thursday, May 23, 2013

Repaying a compliment

John 16:12-15

16:12 Jesus said to his disciples "I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.
16:13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
16:14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you.
16:15 All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.

It is sometimes said that according to Genesis 

"God created man in his own image 
and then humanity duly repaid the compliment 
and did likewise!"

There is more than a grain of truth in this!

Archbishop William Temple suggested 

that we need a doctrine of the Holy Trinity
-that God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit-
because otherwise our doctrine of God would be too small.
At its very crudest 

our God is idolatrously small!
We create an image, an idea or a program and call it God.
But that "image" can be an idea, or a philosophy
or a conception
 (eg....that God is simply a powerful example of a superman)
and is deceptively simplistic.
Even our ideas of Jesus 
can get fundamentally distorted.
We often seem to talk 
as if Jesus is only a pretend human
that he just seems human, 
but is really God disguised.
Or that he is pretend God,
he is really just a man 
who gets as close to being Godly as you can.
Both of these ideas are inadequate,
they do not agree with what Jesus says about himself
or with what the Scriptures say.

We need to take care 
that we are not just fitting God 
into our own little box
and making God 
what we want God to be
rather than seeking 
to encounter God as God really is.

There would seem to be little point in doing anything less.
This week reflect on: 
What do I think of God? 
What is my experience of God? 
Do the two match up?
In what ways is my idea of God too small? 
Ask the Holy Spirit to deepen your understanding of God

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