Have you ever wondered what God is like?
Have you got a picture of God in your mind?
If you ever think about the concept of God are there certain images and ideas that come into your mind?
I want to give you some images of God. I want to share with you what I believe God is like and paint you a picture of God.
'...the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger.'
'Jesus...was...in the desert, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry.'
'Jesus said to the man with the shrivelled hand, "Stand up in front of everyone." The Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good, or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent. He looked round at them in anger and, deeply distressed at their stubborn hearts, said to the man, "Stretch out your hand." He stretched it out, and his hand was completely restored.'
'Jesus said..."Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me - watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly."'
'When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, "Don't cry."'
'...he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples' feet...'
'"This is my command: Love each other."'
'Jesus...knelt down and prayed...And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.'
'So the soilders took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went to the place of the Skull...Here they crucified him.'
'Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.'
'Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, "Peace be with you". They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, "Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have." When he had said this he showed them his hands and feet...he asked them, "Do you have anything here to eat?" They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence.'
So often we assume God should be 'like this' or should be 'like that'. But God has shown us who he is. And we see exactly what God is like as we look at Jesus. God is the One who heals, laughs and weeps. He is the One who is angry at injustice. He is the One who shares our pain, hunger and temptation. He is the One who prays.
He is the One who hangs naked and bleeding on a cross.
He is the One who dies there.
He is the One who rises from the dead and calls us to join him in this new resurrection life.
Here we have a picture painted of who God is. How does that look to you?