QUESTIONS FOR GOD: “How”
“How was God born? How do you keep watch after everybody? How did you make so much fish and bread out of 5 loaves and 2 fish?”
These questions that come from one of our beloved children of God are so filled with grace. They speak to a child-like innocence and a wonder that few adults have. At so many moments in the Bible, we do not get the answer to the question of “How?” We are presented with a theological claim that has been honed and polished and delicately handed down throughout the centuries and are left to receive it and believe it by faith.
The first words of the first book of the Bible come to mind: “In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth…” Those words are so rich and mysterious. No claim is made about the origin of God, but we affirm that from the very beginning God was alive and active and desiring to express love and purpose for all creation and the entire cosmos. How did God do this? Only God knows. Why did God do this? Because God is our mighty Creator, our loving Savior, and our caring Sustainer.
Although the question offered about the birth of God relates to the origins of God, I want to suggest a reminder about what we claim as Christians about the birth of Jesus Christ, the incarnate Son of God (see the early portions of Matthew’s and Luke’s gospels). God chose to reveal God’s self to the flesh and bones world about 2,000 years ago in the person of Jesus who became the Christ (the anointed Messiah of God). God was born in Jesus Christ, as the creeds affirm, by the Holy Spirit of the virgin named Mary. Some have described Jesus as “God with skin on,” and I like that description. In Jesus, God comes to us to teach us the mighty creative and creating power of God, to show us how to love and live in relationship with one another, and to give us hope. Jesus gives new meaning to the sacred law, the Torah, and Jesus shares the wonders of the Spirit (healing the sick, feeding the masses, casting out demons). Jesus promises that when he is no longer with us that the Holy Spirit will be our friend, our advocate, our comfort. The Spirit will keep watch over us and keep us close to Christ.
These blessings of God are, yet again, received by our faith in Christ, who lived a faithful life, died to save us from our sins, and who was raised from death to live victoriously as our King of kings and Lord of lords at the right hand of God, the Father.
Christ promises to return and establish God’s new heaven and new earth. How will all these things happen? The best that we can say is something like, “We cannot be absolutely certain, but they will happen according to the will of God and will be a time of great joy for all who are in Christ.”