We all want beauty; something so bright we fall to our knees before it. Something bigger than us; the kind that makes us shield our eyes but look and look and look again.
We never grow out of this yearning; but it takes different forms. The newborn reaches for her mother’s earring. The toddler, transfixed by Christmas lights. Teens, scrolling furiously through pages of Insta-perfection.
The bible says we’re made to worship and it’s beauty that captures our hearts. But be careful what you gaze upon:
Psalm 115:3 those who worship [idols] become like them.
Worship strength and you’ll have no truck with weakness.
Worship physical beauty and you’ll spend everything on your appearance.
Worship relationships and you’ll be destroyed when others let you down.
If you’re a Christian, then you’ll worship God. But when we say, ‘God’, what do we mean?
If I’m a legalist, He’ll be all about rules.
If I’m insecure or needy, He’ll always be holding back.
If I’m angry, He’ll be vengeful and grumpy.
So what’s He like? And does it really matter? Between the school run, the office and the supermarket – isn’t a general sense of ‘God’ enough? Isn’t the three-in-one stuff just for scholars?
Think about how important your parents are to you – for good or for bad. They have a profound impact on the way you see yourself and your world and other people. Abusive or neglectful parents impact the rest of our lives – from the way we see ourselves to feelings of self-hatred that even therapy can’t touch.
That’s our human relationships. But how much more important is the way that we see and relate to our divine family? To ‘God’?
Over the next three posts we’ll think about this God — Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We’ll look especially at the love of God the Father, the grace of God the Son and the peace of God the Spirit.
None of this is abstract. It’s practical and real and absolutely life-changing. This is the relationship we are made for.