A mother was baking cookies in her kitchen when her 5-year-old daughter’s voice cut through the smell of chocolate chip.
“Yes?”, the mother replied, expecting the child to ask for a cookie.
“Who is God?”
Suddenly, there was silence. The mom, taken back by the question, scrambled her brain to try and describe God to the child.
“Well, he’s the boss,” the mother responded.
The child thought for a few minutes and then responded, “is that why you never say ‘no’ when you tell daddy the boss called and wants you to leave again?”
You certainly do not have to be a child to wrestle with the complexity of the question “who is God?” However, I suggest it is crucial to our faith to understand God to the best of our ability and to spend the rest of our lives attempting to learn more and experience more of God. After all, if we worship God then who are we worshipping?
“Thus says the Lord, Israel’s king, its redeemer, the Lord of hosts: I am the first, I am the last; there is no God but me.” (Israel 44:6 NAB)
Our entire faith hinges on our correct understanding of who God is and who it is that we worship.
“I believe in God”: this first affirmation of the Apostles’ Creed is also the most fundamental. The whole Creed speaks of God, and when it also speaks of man and of the world it does so in relation to God. The other articles of the Creed all depend on the first, just as the remaining Commandments make the first explicit. The other articles help us to know God better as he revealed himself progressively to men. ‘The faithful first profess their belief in God.’” (CCC 199)
God is the Creator; not a creation
The first words of the Bible begin to unveil the mystery, pull away the curtain, and speak of the God who is the author of everything.
“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1)
God always has been and always will be God. There is no other God before him and there will be no other God beside him or after Him. He has always existed from the beginning of time because he created time. Genesis Chapter 1 reveals God created the oceans, land, animals, heavens, and even the sky. He hung the moon, stars, and sun in the sky. When he created the sun, moon, and stars, he created time.
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end” (Revelation 22:13)
God is love, not hate
“When did God’s love for you begin? When he began to be God. When did he begin to be God? Never, for He has always been without beginning and without end, and so He has always loved you from eternity” (St. Francis de Sales)
St. John expresses the simple, yet profound fact, that God is love (I John 4:8) God’s love is everlasting and is without beginning or end. God’s love is not a creation, a feeling, or a “feel good” moment in time. God IS love. One cannot have true, everlasting, pure love without having God, who is love. God is the source of love because He is love itself. The love of God flows from the throne of heaven to us all and brings redemption, mercy, forgiveness, grace, sanctification, and salvation. One cannot have God without love and one cannot have love without knowing, in the inner depths of their being, there is a God.
“God’s love is ‘everlasting’. ‘For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you.’ Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.’” (CCC 220)
God is spirit, not human
Despite what many religions and beliefs may assert, namely the Mormons, that God is a man and has a body like ours, God is not human. He is not a man. He is spirit. Jesus clearly taught that God was spirit.
“God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in Spirit and truth.” (John 4:24)
The teachings of Christ show us that God does not have hands, feet, eyes, and restrained to a body like us. If we are to believe Jesus, which of course we do since he is God’s Son and a person of the Trinity, then we are to stand on the truth that God is not in human form. Jesus teaches us in Luke 24:39 that a spirit has no flesh or bones such as humans.
God is a three person Trinity, not three gods
Perhaps one of the most complicated, and not fully understood, truth and doctrine of God involves God being a Holy Trinity. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit are all God the One. We worship one God, as the Creed and the Bible proclaim, and yet recognize God the One true God is present in a Trinity. The three persons of the Trinity are all God, but one God. Is it beyond our comprehension? Absolutely! Is it truth? Totally!
We proclaim the Oneness of God in the Trinity each Sunday during Mass when we say the Nicene Creed.
“….consubstantial with the Father…”
The word “consubstantial” that we recite during each Mass, which most of us just go through and rarely pay attention, means “of the same substance”. When we proclaim that Jesus Christ is “consubstantial with the Father” we are proclaiming that we believe Jesus Christ and God the Father is “of the same substance”.
There is no way to describe, or even understand, the extent of who God is or to describe him. These are only a few of the truths we can touch on and use to describe God. So, for the little child standing in the kitchen asking her mother who God is, yes, mom is correct. God is the boss.