|Painting by Akiane Kramarik|
Yesterday we talked about the second Commandment :
I think the pastor made a good distinction between the first commandment and the second commandment.
As opposed to the first commandment: having idols
God doesn't want us to try to create an image of Him, physically or mentally.
Once we create an image of God, we confine him to a 2-D or 3-D space. A frame. A box.
We do this to people as well. We label them. We put a box around them and expect them to be one dimensional. When people do that to us, it's frustrates us to know end!!!
God is not one dimensional. If you say "God is Love and that's all I need to know " you've confined God because your definition of love is finite. It's only influenced by your own personal understanding of love, which is very flat and uninspired compared to God's definition of Love. Some of his love doesn't even make sense to our human way of thinking.
For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
(Ephesians 3:14-19 ESV)
The pastor made the point that its hard to have a relationship with something you cannot see, so God sent us his Son, as a physical vessel of God, so that we would have something tangible to relate to, but you can't stick Christ in a box and slap a label on it saying "Jesus is My Homeboy" any more than you can stick a label on God.
It's kind of like having a pen pal, they respond, but if you never see their face even in a snapshot, it's difficult to maintain a relationship. Though the more you get to know them, the more complex you discover they are. I think that's why we find comfort in artists depictions of Christ. Not that we believe the image IS Christ any more than you believe the snapshot of me to the right of this post actually IS me, but it is my likeness. You have a face you can place to a name, and we find comfort in that.