“Now what is the deepest in God? His power? No, for power could not make him what we mean when we say God. Evil could, of course, never create one atom; but let us understand very plainly, that a being whose essence was only power would be such a negation of the divine that no righteous worship could be offered him: his service must be fear, and fear only. Such a being, even were he righteous in judgment, yet could not be God.
“The God himself whom we love could not be righteous were he not something deeper and better still than we generally mean by the word—but, alas, how little can language say without seeming to say something wrong! In one word, God is Love. Love is the deepest depth, the essence of his nature, at the root of all his being. It is not merely that he could not be God, if he had made no creatures to whom to be God; but love is the heart and hand of his creation; it is his right to create, and his power to create as well. The love that foresees creation is itself the power to create.”
—From Creation in Christ by George MacDonald
I’ve heard it said, from Voltaire I believe, that in the beginning, God made humanity and we’ve been returning the favor ever since.
Our conceptions of God are largely shaped by our conceptions of ourselves and our world. We attempt to make sense of God through the lenses that our world has given to us. Unfortunately, the God of our faith is so otherly that our conceptions will always be limited or downright wrong.
The world we live in today, in our Western context, is largely driven by capitalism. What is most important is success, power, influence, and wealth. Accordingly, we shape our image of God in this manner. If God is the most of all the best, then God is the most successful, the most powerful, the most influential, and has the most wealth.
But does the testimony of the scriptures and our experiences of God fit this image? Does the God shaped by capitalism need a crucifix? Does the God shaped by capitalism gently call to us when we hide?
No. Our God does not function in these terms.
As MacDonald writes, “Love is the deepest depth, the essence of his nature, at the root of all his being.”
In the world we live in today, our God plays by different rules. In fact, our God plays a different game altogether. Our God deals not with power and currency. Our God deals with love and embrace.
I wonder, how might we play in God’s game this day?
Peace to you,