Christmas and my image of God

If you’ve been around the church for any length of time, you might have picked up on the “Angry God” idea. You know the one: God is wrath, hellfire, brimstone, and eternal damnation to hell. This God is all knowing, seeing, and ever present. God knows everything about us and if we are not careful we will end up in a sinner’s hell for all of eternity.

I’ve heard people talk about a God that cannot stand to be in the presence of sin. I get that. God is holy. God is pure. God is ticked off at sin. And, as mentioned above, God is really, really angry about sin and sinners.

I imagine meeting God would be a lot like Dorthy and company meeting The Great and Powerful Oz in “The Wizard of Oz”.

Here’s what happens: I say, “God is love.” They say, “Yes, but God is Holy and Righteous and filled with Wrath! He will deal with us as our sins deserve!” Sometimes, I hear dramatic music in the background as they are saying these things and the camera moves in for a close up of my face as a trickle of sweat slowly moves down my forehead.

This is a popular image of God that the Christmas story takes to the woodshed.

Mary and Joseph travel from Nazareth to Bethlehem, about 80 miles, for the census (and I thought them coming to my door was annoying!). They finally find a place and their baby is born.

Did you get that last sentence? Their baby is born. What?! God is a baby? Why a baby? Well, for starters, whose afraid of a baby?

I think part of it is that God knows that this terrifying image keeps us from having an intimate relationship that God desires to have with us. God, the Creator of all that is seen and unseen, took on a diaper and let us take care of him. Jesus needed to be fed and bathed, taught and raised…does that sound terrifying to you? Probably not, so we get a cute little baby with chubby cheeks.

This is totally messing with me.

Does Christmas mess with your image of God or am I the only one on this?

I hope it has because it can really be a Merry Christmas if it does.

Merry Christmas!

By the way, Easter is when we see how angry and wrathful God is regarding sin and how God deals with us regarding our sins. That’s a post for a later date so stay Tuned.

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