College Chaplain Reflection – September 10, 2015

September 9, 2015

The Father Almighty

Last time we considered some of our reasons for believing in God. When we think about who God might be, we can also begin to say some things about God. For example, if God is the cause of everything else, God himself must have no beginning. In other words, God is outside of time, he is eternal. In a similar way we have reasons for say that God is infinite, unchangeable, perfect-¦

However, all we are really getting to here are things we can say about God. And even then, if you consider them in more detail, what we can say is really only defined by means of negatives; God is outside of time, God isn’t bound by space, God doesn’t change, God has no imperfections, no want of improvement. On our own we can get hints or glimpses of who God is, but what we yearn for as humans is to know God in Himself, to have a real sight of him. This is precisely the significance of our Creed. In our Creed, we confess a whole list of things that God has revealed to us about himself through various means and signs, beginning with his speaking through the prophets and completed in the coming of his Son, Jesus Christ. And following their words, the first thing we confess is God as Father.

When we confess God as Father we recognise in him the source and foundation of everything that is. He, the Father without beginning, is the one who has given life and existence to all. Now we mustn’t forget this part of the meaning, but there is another aspect to the title which is very important. When God revealed himself as a Father he shows himself to be a God who looks outwards, a God who faces us. He is not an impersonal Deity who has no interest in us; he is a loving Father who cares intimately for us, a God who wants to share his life with us, who guides and nourishes us (and at times corrects us too).

If we are honest though, we can easily trick ourselves into taking advantage of this. We can almost come to picture God as a doting, kindly grandfather who is so excited when we come to visit him that he will shower us with affection and give us anything we want.- The rest of the time we can just carry on with our lives as we please and forget him. But then we are snapped out of our false image of God as we find ourselves confessing this next part of the Creed; that God is Almighty. Nothing is outside of his power, nothing is outside of his knowledge and sight, nothing escapes him. He has no need of us, of our offerings or our work, he has no need of our company or our love. He is the Almighty God and our relationship with him is entirely one sided.

Put that back together with the confession of God as Father, we realise we are saying with absolute confidence that God is a God who chooses to share his life with us, who chooses to be present to us, who chooses to seek out our love. When we confess God as the Father, Almighty, above everything else we are confessing a God of unconditional and unbounded love. In other words, a love that is entirely undeserved and absolutely free, a love without any limit, a love that is stronger than any other power.