One great weakness some of us have is to label others. We say, he is a "problem" or she is a "people pleaser." For example, a person may be a college student, but she is also a daughter, a friend, an athlete, and a compassionate and generous person.
In my reflections these days it occurs to me that we also categorize or label God. As with others, these labels do not do God justice. God is so much more than any label we may give to God. God is a deep mystery.
Sometimes people who want to use inclusive language when speaking to or about God, are criticized. They are often looked upon as people who act like it is sinful to call God "Father." They are labeled woman libbers, radicals or people who have an agenda or a problem with men. This may be true in some cases, but I would like to propose an alternate view.
Language is very important and powerful. When we use inclusive language we broaden our concept of God. To call God exclusively "Father" limits our understanding of God. God is so much more than our human minds can describe. God has the qualities of a good father, but also of a mother, friend, confidant and much more.
Recently I read a book that really stretched my mind about my beliefs with regard to the creation of the world. It was about scientific discoveries concerning our planet Earth and other planets. It has been proven that matter existed billions of years before the earth, as we experience it, is today.
Somehow I had limited God’s action and presence to this earth. I began to ask some questions. What if there is life on other planets? Does God extend salvation to them? Is God present in the rest of the universe? Is our God just interested in the creatures of this planet?
In the past, theologians named God as almighty, all-powerful, transcendent and so on. Jesus told us other things about God. The God Jesus described is loving, compassionate, involved in each person’s life. The God of Jesus is concerned about the poor and those treated unjustly. God’s love and salvation extends beyond the walls of Christianity and even of our planet Earth. God loves Muslims, Hindus, atheists, agnostics and even creatures from outer space.
Saint Paul says that God’s love is more than we can ask or imagine. I would say that God, too, is more than we can imagine with our human minds. We cannot describe God adequately or limit the expanse of God’s love.
What limits have you put on God? Share your new understanding with me in the comments.