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What Does God Look Like?

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*The Church at the Table in Oak Lawn on 1/25/2016.

 

The looks of God are a curious thing to explore. However, I also think such attributes are something we can’t ignore. We are made in God’s image. What does God look like? God looks like us. We look like God. If you want to know what God looks like, look around. The God in whose image we are made looks like us. God is many colors, shapes, sizes, abilities and other looks and ways of being. God is all of it.

 

Most would assume that God doesn’t look like anything that we assume is undesirable. Why is it so far outside of our consideration to think of God having Down’s syndrome? I believe it is because we assume that God is perfect and that there is something imperfect about Down’s syndrome. I can think of nothing more evil that to assume that someone doesn’t carry the image of God. We are made in God’s image. God reflects us all and all means all.

 

Many would say that God looks like Jesus. Throughout the county in church after church, you run into these white Jesuses made of stained glass. Obviously, there is a belief amongst many that Jesus reflects our dominate culture. The dominant culture always assumes that they own God or Jesus and God or Jesus looks like them. This is evil of the highest order. Disordered thinking such as this corrupts not only the image of God but also the image that we have of ourselves. There is no question that the way that we perceive God is tied to the way that we perceive ourselves. Our identity-based culture is causing us to lose connection with ourselves. We are all made in the image of God. We are enough in our very person. We don’t need the dominant culture to affirm that. We just have to look for the God within. We jsut need to look for God.

 

For over 50 years, we have seen the release of identity theologies. These theologies have helped us to recapture our image in the image of God. God is black. God is brown. God is female. God is disabled. The theologies run the spectrum of identities. The problem with such theologies is that they often take us to the oppression olympics where we find people fighting about God being here and not there or there and not here. We cannot separate God from ourselves. When we separate ourselves from the image of God by categorization and identification we become broken people. God is beyond our lines. God is as colorful or diverse as can ever be imagined or dreamed. We can’t be in right relationship with each other as long as we are holding the lines. The ists, isms and phobia are a product of a broken relationship with God and self. We must get saved from our ordered disordered thinking.

 

God is mentally ill. God has AIDS. God has cancer. God is everything and anything that we are. God looks like us. We follow the sick crazy colorful God. We are made in God’s image. God exists in our image. God looks like us.

 

Amen.

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