Images Of God -- By: John Weaver

Journal: Priscilla Papers
Volume: PP 12:1 (Winter 1998)
Article: Images Of God
Author: John Weaver

Images Of God

John Weaver

John Weaver Is Music Director and Organist at Madison Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York City, where he is also an Elder. He is Chair of the Organ Department at The Julliard School (New York City) and Head of the Organ Department at Curtis Institute (Philadelphia), and concertizes in the United States and abroad. This article is adapted from a sermon he preached in 1987. Priscilla Papers 3:2, Spring 1989.

From the beginning of lime, people have been telling stories about God. Deeply rooted in the human instinct is a persistent belief in some sort of divine power, a power every civilization has searched for and tried to explain.

Some have sought to deny the existence of God, but to me that is comparable to denying that the world is round. I understand that an organization called “The Flat Earth Society” actually does exist, and is dedicated to promoting the notion that the world is flat. Even when confronted with photographs of our planet taken from outer space, these people stoutly maintain that such evidence has been faked (at great expense) for the purpose of convincing us all that we live on a sphere! So to continue our illustration, the person who claims to be an atheist seems to be equally immune to the preponderance of evidence.

The vast majority of human beings do accept as true the existence of God, and we naturally lend to be inquisitive about God’s nature. We want to know what God is like. Is God everywhere, as the Psalmist suggests: in heaven and hell, in the sky, and in the uttermost depths of the sea? To believe in God at all is to acknowledge that God is limitless, but to understand this is impossible.

We try in vain to get a grasp on the timelessness of this Deity who has been our dwelling place in all generations, even before the mountains and hills were brought forth, or even before the world was formed—a Deity whose existence is from everlasting to everlasting. The enormous incomprehensibility of the United States federal budget is nothing compared to this God whom we worship! Perhaps John Newton described God’s eternity best when he wrote:

When we’ve been there ten-thousand years,
Bright-shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we first begun!

Such arithmetic as that is beyond our feeble knowing.

And yet we say this infinite, unsearching God knows each of us intimately: our down-sitting and our uprising, even numbering the hairs of our heads. An ancient Judaic prayer states:

O Lord, how can we know you? Where can we find you?
You are as close to us as breathing
and yet farther than the farthermost star.

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