On Sunday evening, we started a new series in response to the results of the Know Do Be activity we did last month. (If you don’t know what that is, you can read a little about it here.) One of the key things that came out of that was the importance of prayer, so we thought we would build to that by first thinking about who it is we pray to.
We started then by thinking about God, and most particularly the idea that he is revealed in Jesus. There is rumour of a video covering the main points, so this won’t be a complete summary but rather a brief reflection.
The thing that struck me most when comparing the list of characteristics we believed God must possess and the list of qualities we recognised in Jesus, was how similar they were in spite of differences in language.
We said that God was mysterious, and that Jesus was perplexing and unpredictable.
We said that God was just and engaged, and that Jesus was an activist.
We said that God was relational and responsive, and that Jesus acted with passion and compassion.
We said that God was wise, and that Jesus was a prophet and a teacher.
We said that God was queer because he didn’t fit our categories, and that Jesus was challenging and nonconformist.
We said that God was good and loving, and that Jesus gave dignity and healing.
I hope you can see the similarities between those ideas, as Jesus takes the big words we ascribe to God and shows us what they look like in our small world.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot about Christmas as I’ve started planning carol services, and the idea that God stepped out of heaven and into history never loses its power. In fact the truth of it only becomes more powerful as we look to the life of Jesus, and see all the wonder of God come to touch our lives.
Nowhere is the great mystery of this captured quite as beautifully as in the prologue to the fourth gospel, so that is what I will leave you with.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being which has come into being. In him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not take hold of it.