To say foundations are important is what can only be termed an understatement. These are the building blocks that provide the basis for moving upward, but we really don’t spend much time thinking about them or what effect they have on our beautiful architecture.
And yet inferior foundations can be disastrous.
I’m reminded of a short parable found in Luke 6 (or Matthew 7 if you prefer) where Jesus compares building foundations on a rock to building a house either without a foundation or upon sand (depending on which gospel you turn to). Let’s just say the outcome of each foundation is entirely expected.
While there are many things that create the foundations of who we are – our families, our environment, etc – I am becoming more aware of the fact that perhaps the central foundation of who we are and how we navigate our way through life is our answer to the question, ‘Who is God is and what is he like?’.
While all the other things that help shape who we are will naturally impact our answer to this question, the truth of the matter is “we become what we behold”. So, what happens when our answer to the question isn’t accurate?
Because this happens a lot … to everyone!
History, both ancient and recent, is littered with incorrect answers to this all-important question.
In fact, I would argue that virtually every answer ever given will be inaccurate, incomplete and insufficient.
Except one …
Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature … (Hebrews 1:1-3)
In other places we are told he is “the image of the invisible God” and that “in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell”. To me that says one thing; Jesus is the answer to who God is and what he is like.
This is not a rational explanation that has an answer to every question, but a story of a God who so loved the world that he came and pitched his tent with us.
He entered our mess out of love. He took the initiative and overcame the gulf that stood between us … because of love.
Love is his very essence. Everything Jesus did was out of love for his creation and in order to reveal who God really is.
If we have an answer to this all-important question that cannot be seen in Jesus, let’s scrap it!
Other images of God – even those supposedly* found in the bible – need to be discarded if they don’t look like the self-sacrificial love shown in the incarnation, death and resurrection of Jesus.
And so this is my foundation: Who is God and what is He like?
God is love and he looks like Jesus.
He has always looked like Jesus.
We haven’t always known this; we don’t always remember this; we may find it hard to believe at times … but it’s true.
That’s a foundation worth building on!
* people believe they see other aspects of God in both the Old and New Testaments, but these images need to conform to the revelation of God we have in Jesus, not the other way around. We do not need to make Jesus fit other ideas about God, we need to find ways of reading these “supposedly” conflicting images of God to make them conform to God as revealed completely and perfectly in Jesus. Period!