For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Romans 1:18-23 ESV
Philip said to him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority, but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me, or else believe on account of the works themselves.” John 14: 8-11
Long ago, the Norse people believed in a god named Loki. He was the son of giants, and he was very powerful. But Loki wasn’t a kind or helpful god. If he helped anyone, it was because there was something good in it for himself. Not only was Loki selfish, but he was also a trickster. He was full of mischief, and sometimes his tricks were deadly. He was responsible for the death of a beautiful god that everyone loved named Balder, when he guided a poison mistletoe dart to Balder’s heart. Loki refused to cry for Balder to bring him back to life, even though all the rest of the world was weeping. Loki was also a destructive god who caused earthquakes to happen.
Paul wrote to the Romans that all people can know some things about the true God, such as his power and glory, just by looking at creation. But people refuse to worship the true God and instead make false gods and goddesses that look like things on earth–people and animals and birds and reptiles. Even worse, people make up false gods like Loki, who not only looked like a human person, but also thought and acted like one. Gods and goddesses like Loki show the worst of sinful human behavior by being jealous and selfish and destructive.
We all are guilty of understanding God to be a little like us in some ways, but God came to us in Jesus to show us what our Heavenly Father is truly like. When we want to understand God, the best place to look is to Jesus, and learn from his life and his teachings. In Jesus we know the wonderful love of God, a love that didn’t leave us to go our own way. Jesus took all our sins onto himself and went to the cross to pay for them there. Because of Jesus, we have God’s forgiveness every day, and we know our Heavenly Father’s love. We want to learn more about Jesus from his word, the Bible, and to follow God’s ways in our lives.
Dear Jesus, thank you for coming to us to show us what God’s love is all about. Amen.