How we think about Church and God

 1 June 2021 |

On Pentecost Sunday Martin talked about the excitement of the early Christians and contrasted that with the modern day Church in the UK. Somewhat lacklustre by comparison. That morning on the Sunday programme Edward Sturton interviewed a Christian writer who is a regular on Thought for Today. She is of black ethnic origin and has just written a book which outlines how all her life she has visualised God as a white man. She watched a film in which all 3 parts of the Trinity were visualised differently and God the Father was a black woman. She told us that had revolutionised how she visualised God and that in turn galvanised her in her faith.

I wonder how each of us visualises God. Maybe as He is portrayed in paintings, bearded and white stretching out His finger from a distance. I have always seen Jesus as a bearded, slim young Middle Eastern man . Some campaign for God to be regarded as female. I wonder whether our visual image matters. Maybe we have a range of images. Does our image guide our reaction? Martin talked of the mighty wind of Pentecost. Elijah found God in the still small voice. Sometimes He is more of a comfort blanket.

On a more light hearted note and following Martin’s reference to the Eurovision Song Contest , as a child I visualised pop singers wearing a tunic apron with their hair tied up in a scarf. That was because I heard them on the radio in the morning when I thought all the women in the street were doing the housework and one particular neighbour , dressed in just that attire, was sitting on her window ledge facing into the room cleaning her windows. It’s just a curious association but no doubt one of many and illustrates to me how strange events influence our outlook on life.

Jill Pipe