This seems like a blinding statement of the obvious. But it’s not. And of course Jesus did come to show us God in human form, but that doesn’t make God like us. We instead have to strive to be like God.
So what exactly am I talking about? When we set our expectations of God for good or bad we base them on what has been done to us, or what we have done to other humans. We base them on our understanding of how the world should work, on how we think things should be if the world was really running the way it should. We blame God for the things that go wrong in our lives or we see Christians using their belief in God as a way to back up their predjudices and allow them to harm or suppress others. Or we might do that ourselves.
An attitude that really understands God is one that says “I don’t understand”.
I don’t understand why you would love a bundle of cells whose lifespan is a mere 70 yrs when the universe is 13.75 ± 0.17 billion years.
I don’t understand how I can do something so awful and still you can love me. And I don’t understand how they can have done something so awful and still you love them.
I don’t understand why there are so many ways to worship you and all are acceptable to you.
I don’t understand why you want me to choose that path. I don’t understand why there seems to be no path at all marked out for me.
There is so much about God that is not homely and warm and comforting but instead is alien and different and deeply challenging. We can if we like just focus on the nice stuff, the knowable stuff, for instance Jesus at the wedding feast. But there is always the oddness that breaks through – Jesus doesnt’ just turns water into wine (ok that is pretty strange and un-human), he turns 150 gallons into wine. That’s far more than needed particularly when everyone is well sozzled already it being well into the feast.
God’s ways are absolutely not our ways. He doesn’t organise the world the way we like it and that is difficult to come to terms with. If God has created this world why are our lives so brutish and short and in many cases filled with such suffering? Or what about this some people achieve great holiness, sacrifice their comforts, seperate from families and support mechanisms and are maybe even killed just to do what they have belive they have been called to do, others bumble along going to the parish church and volunteering in the local Oxfam shop and sending charity Christmas card, yet God doesn’t distinguish between either of these. He loves neither more nor less, he accepts both eqully – fair? Think about that. Yet others have no relationship with the Church of God at all yet Jesus clearly says in the parable of the sheep and goats that some them are in his camp. Would they be happy about that?
It is so hard to remember that God is not human but it can bring you a new source of joy when you realise that the warmth held out to you is not conditional not based on any human assessment of your value – good or bad. The word God is become to familiar to us try to think of it as you think of a god in ancient times or in a fantasy fiction story and then think back to our God. We need to remember the God-ness of God.