What Is God Like?

No. 11 - 23rd October 2016

Last week, the Uckfield Model Railway Club had their annual exhibition at the Civic Centre. And for someone like me who grew up in the age of steam, it’s an absolute treat for the eyes. If you’ve never been to see this exhibition before, I would thoroughly recommend it. It’s well worth the entrance fee. These models are usually built to replicate an actual station and all the buildings around it. The amount of detail is astonishing, and I’m sure that if you were to visit the original station or the prototype as they call it, you would instantly recognise the place from the model. Many of them are built to a scale of four millimetres per foot which would make the actual station 76 times bigger than the model, and yet totally recognisable.

Now, if you’ve ever wondered what God is like, then what you really need is a scaled down version of him. The artist, Michael Angelo tried it on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, and what he came up, with was a muscular, larger than life, man. That might have suited his age, but these days as our understanding of the universe gets bigger and bigger, a muscular man just isn’t enough to explain the amount of power and energy required to get the whole thing started. So what is he like? You know what? I don’t actually know? Not in terms of size or appearance. But we do have a scaled down version. He’s called Jesus. As I said, a few weeks ago, one of the things Jesus said about himself was that “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father”. Not the arms and legs, because we know that God is Spirit and not flesh and bones. But what we see is the character of God and his attitude towards us.

One of the Apostles starts his biography of Jesus with these words. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God… and the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”. In other words, Jesus was there from the beginning as a part of God, and then one day, in a stable in Bethlehem, he took on the form of a man. So when you look at this scaled down version of God, what you’re seeing is God’s generosity, his love, his compassion, his hatred of hypocrisy and sin, and yet a willingness to forgive it all. And he’s done it on a scale that we can both relate and respond to. Now, that’s the real model.

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