Recently I have talked about how the maps we used to understand what it meant to be church no longer work. I have also said that in this strange new world one of the key things we need to do is remember who we are and whose we are. In other words pay attention to who we experience and understand God to be and how we might see ourselves in light of that. That is what Lent is about, paying attention to how we experience and respond to God, who God is inviting to us to become, and we how might live that out.
This week’s readings are all about whom we understand God to be. This is not just the names we apply to God. This is about the primary image that shapes our relationship with God, including our expectations of God and ourselves, the image on which our understanding of Good Friday and Easter is built on.
For example, I might call God a God of love and still see God primarily as a Judge. So while I might talk about a loving God, it is a God who judges in love. Good Friday and Easter become events that are about God’s judgement, and my or our avoiding the consequences of that judgement. What happens when my primary image is one of love? All of God’s acts become acts of love and invitation to love in return. No judgement involved at all. That puts a whole new spin on Good Friday and Easter.
So what are your primary images of God? And how are you being invited to grow beyond those images this Easter?