Defining God

Year B Pentecost 8 – 2 Samuel 7:1-14a, 12b-19; Psalm 89:20-37; Ephesians 2:11-22; Mark 6:30-34, 53-56

The human concept of God is intellectually unattainable. We struggle to comprehend the 4th Dimension, let alone string theory which teaches there could be 10 or 11 dimensions. God does not exist as a human being in our dimension today. Any attempts, therefore, to define God in human terms with human understanding will pre-determine the conclusion.

The readings this week encourage us to define God by actions, not philosophy, by deeds, not concepts. King David was put in check by the prophet’s response. Evidence of God’s faithfulness was offered by way of explanation.

Psalm 89 is a natural continuation of the Samuel story. David is not the central figure of the song: he is merely the illustration of God keeping promises. We learn that God’s faithfulness is connected to Covenantal relationships.

The writer of Ephesians carries this understanding into the new covenant relationship with Christ. God is merciful and steadfast in love and desires to be involved with Jews and Gentiles. There is a reinvention of Creation of sorts “through the cross”. Peace is fruit of God’s work.

The Gospel gives a practical aspect of the apostle’s theory. Jesus attended to the concerns of others ensuring disciples receive a rest.

We learn more about who God is by how God interacted with others. God is forgiving and works to reconcile sinners to God’s self. Any definition of God needs to embrace God is faithful and steadfast beyond human comprehension.

God is here for you today, whether you want God to be or not. That is who God is.


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Published by St Johns Papatoetoe

Presbyterian Church, Hunters Corner, Papatoetoe, Auckland, New Zealand belonging to Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand (PCANZ).

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