Just to forewarn everyone who is reading this to find out my answer to who God, the name many people have chosen to give the Divine Creator of all that is; and the one who is called by many names, I simply cannot do that as a human being. God is mystery, and as mystery cannot be completely understood by us.
What I can tell you is that Sacred Scripture says that when Moses asked God (during the encounter with the burning bush that was not consumed), “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”
(Ex 3:13)(NIV) —- God’s response is quoted as “I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I am has sent me to you.’” (Ex 3:14)(NIV)
My interpretation (along with many others who know much more about Scripture than I ever will) of Gen 1:27, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.’ (NIV); all of us were created in God’s image (male and female); thus God is not restricted to a masculine image, notwithstanding the exclusive language used in the translation. In view of this, images that we make of God in any form are simply humans making God in their image.
Again, God is mystery; therefore, how can we make an image of God if we have little or no understanding of what the image should look like.
St. Augustine said, “If you comprehend it, it’s not God.” Furthermore, ask yourselves if you could truly worship something that you really understood or imagined?
We must remain constantly aware that along with all the rest of Creation, we are the “created,” the Divine Creator God (by whatever name we use) is the Creator. As part of Creation we indeed contain that mark of Divinity that was imbued upon us by that same Creator.
We are all manifestations of the Divine Creator manifesting God-self as each person we are; God is simply who God is and in being that, is included is in all that exists and surpasses even our greatest imagination and expectations.
Deacon Paul E. Richardson is from St. Paul Church of Yellow Springs and guest column.