Sunday, 7 February 2021

What does God look like?

 

The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities” by Bartolom√© Esteban Murillo.
Murillo, The Heavenly and Earthly Trinities, about 1675-1682 
Photo © The National Gallery, London 
 
 We are told that God created us in His image, and for centuries people have assumed that God is a bearded man sitting on a cloud in Heaven looking down on us.

Artists over the years have painted Him as a human being, no doubt taking their clue from what the Bible said about us and His image, and also from the fact that Christ, His only Son, came down to earth as a human being.

But what does God really look like?

Is He a Spirit somewhere in the sky, or wherever? But the Holy Spirit has been depicted, and seen, as a dove and tongues of fire. Is that what God looks like?

It is worth remembering that although we are taught that God always existed, so does Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

Jesus did not begin to exist the day He was born on earth. He has always existed. When He was born on earth, this is when He took the shape of a human being, a baby, born amongst us. He is "Consubstantial to the Father". From Latin consubstantialem, of one essence or substance. He always was and is.

So although we accept, and many have seen, Jesus in human form, and the Holy Spirit has been seen as a dove, tongues of fire or bright lights, no one has actually seen God. And we cannot therefore assume that He looks like any of these.

In essence it does not matter what God looks like. Christ taught that He is a Father in Heaven to help those people listening to Him at the time to understand Deity in a form their minds can comprehend. 

What we need to concentrate on is that God is love. Unmeasurable love Whose desire is that we all one day will be united with Him in Heaven. He is mercy. He is forgiveness. He is goodness and patience. And all that one would wish from a caring Creator.

And that's what it means to be created in His image.

We all have the potential to love, to have mercy and pity for our fellow beings, to forgive, to be good and patient and caring, and everything else that we consider God, our Creator, to be.

Yet ... sadly yet ... despite being created in His image, with all this Godly potential, there are many it seems who live their lives with none of these qualities in their behaviour.
 

21 comments:

  1. ...does God's appearance really matter?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No Tom; not physically. He is a Spirit. Just like we are spirits inhabiting a body. Jesus was/is the Spirit made flesh so we could see Him, speak and listen and learn from Him.

      God bless.

      Delete
  2. I have no doubts about God being pure light. Why? I have never given it much thought. It just feels right to me to believe this way. I have been this way as far back as I can remember.
    Thank you for helping me to remember what I believe to be the truth.

    God's Blessings Victor ✝

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. God is a Spirit as we pray when we recite the Credo. He is part of the Trinity consisting of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.

      God bless, Jan.

      Delete
  3. Another thought-provoking message! Your closing paragraph reminds me of Fr. Francis' vignette this morning:
    The new convert: "I was wondering at what stage in history that Christians started to be so unlike Christ."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Mevely. You are right. We are supposed to be like God, like Christ. Loving, caring, merciful. At some point in history we decided to go our own way. Maybe it was when the devil rebelled against God. Then he encouraged humanity, (Adam and Eve), to do the same.

      God bless you always, Mevely.

      Delete
  4. If we are to believe St Teresa os Calcutta we will see him/her in the eyes of the other. I believe that. Have a grand day!!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true, Cathy.

      God bless you and yours. Happy week ahead.

      Delete
  5. We will see him when it's time and I believe he walks among us everyday.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Dearest Victor,
    No matter HOW we 'try' to envision God, a fact is that HE, OUR CREATOR, EXISTS! Sad is that the Big Tech and Main Stream Media is DENOUNCING all this, thus pushing ALL MORAL VALUES OFF THE TABLE...
    That is the world's BIGGEST PROBLEM!!!
    Hugs,
    Mariette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You are so right, Mariette. Yes God exists. But it is fashionable these days for influential people to encourage vulnerable ones to believe God does not exist. Sad, isn't it?

      God bless you.

      Delete
    2. Victor, it is beyond sad - it is detrimental for so many!

      Delete
  7. Bingo. "...it does not matter what God looks like...."

    Assuming that who God is - is more important that what our senses have picked up at times. Which I think is a safe assumption.

    On the other hand, we humans are intensely visual creatures, so I also figure it's natural that we make visual references that (can) help us think about and contemplate God.

    The whole business of the Trinity - three persons, one God - has been a public relations issue for two millennia now, and that's another topic. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Jesus helped us in this visualisation problem by describing God as a loving Father. Such a description helped people of the time to understand a Deity which they could not visualise. That is also why Jesus described Heaven as a mansion, and hell as an everlasting fire. He used descriptions that people were familiar with.

      Had He said, God is a Spirit in the sky, I doubt many would have understood.

      God bless you, Brian.

      Delete
  8. I always think of Jesus of Nazareth, the movie. And of course in others as well, my little grandson almost two, those clear blue loving eyes and innocent loving smile. God is everywhere, even in my dog's loving eyes, it's true. Unconditional love in others and beings many times.

    God bless you this fine Sunday, Victor.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes Amelia. God is everlasting love, compassion and forgiveness.

      God bless.

      Delete
  9. Well put. What matters, for Him and for us, is not looks, but substance. What you are like is more important than what you look like every time.

    ReplyDelete

I PRAY FOR ALL WHO COMMENT HERE.

God bless you.