That of God in everyone

Thinking About God

Thinking about God – a session exploring God in Junior Meeting for Worship

This morning (Sunday 23rd May) the young people were exploring the language we use to talk about God and how we think about God – I thought I would share one of the activities we did to generate discussion, conversation and reflection.

The activity was based on the question ‘If God was…what would God be?’

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(Adapted from Journey’s in the Spirit – Youth Work edition issue no. 14 2012: Theism and Non-Theism accessed 23/5/2021)

When looking at colours white, silver, transparent and clear were talked about but also the idea of all colours being one. Interestingly for one young person the colour was ginger, as a young child they always thought of God as ginger and this has stayed with them – this generated conversation around our relationship with God being personal and individual.

Silence came out as the main sound and we talked about Silence in worship not being the absence of sound but something else. Rushing of leaves and birds singing were expressed as an important part of hearing God in nature. Listening for the voice of help and guidance, a holy whisper (Thomas Kelly), were also ideas that were explored.

God can be found in many places and for this group one found God in their bedroom as this is where they pray or talk to god, their ‘God pillow’. Nature was important with one drawing an analogy of a hedge maze – we discussed finding God in the complexities of life and sometimes being too small to see over the top of the hedges. One young person shared how people who are very ill and who might die, sometimes experience a feeling of going down a bright tunnel towards a field of grass and later when they recover describe this experience as walking towards God or heaven, so they thought if God was a place maybe it would a field of grass. Another young person used the analogy of God being like Asgard (Viking heaven) as described in the Thor Marvel movie - Asgard is not a place, it’s a people.

Animals are an important part of biblical imagery and if God was an animal they saw God as an Owl, often unseen but wise; a dove, the symbol of peace; a peregrine falcon as it can speed through the air to be with us; and a Tiger instead of a Lion, because it is strong but not tied up with ideas of power and omnipotence. Finally, a vole also came up as it knows the working of the ground underneath us that we cannot see – the analogy being that God knows more than we can see or comprehend.

I’d like to finish with a quote from Martin Lynn’s book Encountering the light: “For early Friends… was the central message of that Quaker Pentecost: that God’s love mediated through the experience of the spirit of Christ, lay within the individual, in the individuals capacity to understand the promptings of God within him or herself” (Lynn, Martin, 2007 p45). The personal relationship we can all have with God means there are many ways we can encounter God, using the full breadth of our language, experience and understanding. Our young people have looked outside the box and seen God in the colour ginger, in a hedge maze, in an owl and peregrine falcon, a holy whisper – the voice of help and guidance.

Megan Corrigan with the Older Group of South Belfast Meeting.