Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Expand our images O Lord!

What images of God do we carry with us?
Do they empower us to seek and serve Christ in all people,
regardless of race, gender or creed?
Do they encourage us to strive for justice and peace
among all the peoples of the earth?
Do they help us to respect the dignity of every human being,
all of whom are created in the Divine Image?
If not, why do we keep them?

Images that induce guilt and fear (like the ones I grew up with)
can be tenacious in their hold upon our psyches.
Even when you think you have banished them they can pop up like burnt toast -
all smokey & smelly & needing a quick trip to the trash bin.

We need to expand our images of God in order to nourish our souls.
We need images that speak to the mystery that is God.

The image above is one that my adult daughter grew up with
that she would like to replace.

1 comment:

Brad said...

I really like this. You are so right that it is foolish to try to separate our image of God from our image of Christ. God Among Us was here in Jesus, but in the greatest of mysteries "they" were never divided, any more than we can get rid of God in us and us in Him. Jesus was so clear - it's not so much that we look for Him in others, as that any other person is just like Him, just as valuable as He is, just as dear to God as was His "only-begotten son." Now about that picture your daughter would like to replace - my grandma had the same picture, That image has an interesting history - trace it back far enough, through the stylized, Western representations of Christ (NOT the Eastern ones) and you'll come to stylized images of Greco-Roman heroes, not least among them Alexander the Great. That "portrait" has to do with us making Him in our hero image, not with us really trying to see with a clear eye.
Love, Brad