A documentary series on religion and politics: 8-15-19
In this version of Job, he recants nothing

She wants to FaceTime God: 8-16-19

I was in Buffalo, N.Y., in June for the annual conference of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, a strangely wonderful group that used to have me as its president.

Susan-sparksAt one of the banquets I wound up sitting next to the Rev. Susan Sparks (pictured here), who is a blogger, a preacher, a lawyer and a stand-up comedian whom I had not previously met. See what I mean by strangely wonderful? Her business card shows her on a rural road astride a red Harley Davidson.

Wouldn't you like to read something by someone like that? Me, too.

So today I bring you this piece by Susan in the Gainesville Sun, in which she wonders what it would be like to FaceTime God. Never having tried that, I wondered, too.

The point of the piece has to do with how our image of God affects our lives, including our prayer life.

"For example," she writes, "most of our liturgy today is couched in male language — specifically, father language. This is not necessarily a problem unless it is the only language we use. When God is father, we tend to project all the parental baggage around that term onto God. And if God is mother, we do the same."

Every major religion offers more than one image of God because the reality is that we are finite minds seeking to grasp something about the infinite. And we have to do that through metaphor, allegory, myth.

The problem comes when we believe we have the only true image of God in our heads, one that everyone else in the world should have. And when we believe that we understand exactly how this God thinks and what this God wants us to do.

So give Susan's fun and interesting column a read today and then be willing to acknowledge that whatever image you come up with for God may not contain much truth. Humility is good for us.

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P.S.: DENVER -- I'm here in the Mile High City for a few days to celebrate some events with friends. While I'm gone I won't be adding the usual second item to the daily blog post.


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