Society

PASTOR’S CORNER

God is a Father
By REV. CLYDE E. NICHOLS

I n the living room the little girl was busy with paper and crayons when her father came home from work. Looking at her masterpiece, he asked what she was doing. Without so much as an upward glance, she answered, “I am drawing a picture of God.”

Rather amused, her father said, “But darling, nobody knows what God looks like.” Completely unperturbed, she answered, “Well, they will when I get through.”

What about you? What would you say God is like? Today I would like to share with you three things I believe about God. When I was in college, God was referred to as “The Uncaused Cause,” “The Wholly Other,” “The Sum Total of All Values,” and on and on. Of course, He is all these things. But what is God like, really?

To me, first of all, God is a person. The Bible tells us we are created in his image. If you and I can think, and love, and will, then God must have those abilities also. And so God is able to communicate with us person to person.

When Billy Graham was asked, “How do you know there is a God?” he replied, “Because I talked with him this morning.”

It was Alfred Lord Tennyson who wrote:

Speak to Him, thou, for He heareth,

And spirit with spirit doth meet;

Nearer is he than breathing,

And closer than hands and feet.

Jesus told us that God is like a father. That title is used in the New Testament 275 times. And that is the most wonderful news in the world. A good father loves his children, cares for them, is kind and considerate. There is no sacrifice a good father will not make for his children. If we would take Jesus at his word and realize that God is like a father, it could transform our lives.

All of us, I imagine, have heard people ask such questions as “Why did God take our little baby?” “Why did God let hail destroy our wheat?” “Why did God allow the deadly shooting rampage at Virginia Tech that took the lives of 32 students and faculty members?” Blaming God makes him more like a monster than a father.

Jesus once told a story about a young lad who rebelled against home and family, left home and in a far country wasted all he had in riotous living. Being in want he decided to return home. As he trudged back over all the weary miles he practiced what he was going to say, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me as one of your hired servants.”

Coming over the brow of a hill he saw the old home place and down the road a figure running toward him. One who over all the long weeks and months had been waiting, watching the road, praying for his son’s return.

The prodigal was gathered into loving arms and the warm embrace stifled his prepared speech. All he heard was his father’s words whispered through choking sobs, “This my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost is found!”

Above all else, God is a father like that. Rev. Nichols is Minister Emeritus of First Christian Church, Temple, where he was senior minister for 23 years. He writes a religious column for several newspapers.


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2013-04-25 digital edition

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