For Parents - God

God for parents

The Key Concepts we teach about God are:

1. God created the world.
2. Ways we can know about God - God is revealed through Jesus
3. God is all powerful and remains a mystery.
4. God loves us individually (He has made a Covenant with us).

1. God Created the World

The children are learning that God is the Creator of the universe.  This is an idea which changes and develops over a person's life.

Some of the ways we can know about this:

a) The Creation story in the Bible: Genesis chapter 1 and Genesis chapter 2 tell two slightly different stories of creation which are worth reading.  It is important to remember that the creation story is allegorical - it tells a true religious message but it is generally accepted that it is not a scientifically or historically accurate story.  

As children grow older they realise there are alternative theories of how the universe was created.  The church teaches that the theory of evolution and the big bang theory are both consistent with God as the origin and creator of the universe.   Have a look at recent comments by Pope Francis.

Fractal pattern in a leaf - a fractal pattern is repeating pattern a successively smaller scales. From:
b) We can know about the creator through looking at creation.  It often strikes me that when things look rundown and in need of repair and maintenance they are manmade things.  Nature, left to its own devices, is self-sustaining and unfathomably intricate and very, very beautiful.

c) Both the vastness and the minutiae of the universe tell us something about the Maker.  We can imagine our solar system as a mental picture.  When we look up into the night sky and see the Milky Way we know that each speck in that is a star - a sun like our own - probably with satellite planets, with their own satellite moons.  And there are so many they overlap and we can only see the closest.  When we see a shooting star we are seeing an event that happened millions of years ago and even though the speed of light is 299,792,458 metres per second its taken that long to get to us.  And not only that - the Milky Way is just one of an (estimated) one hundred billion galaxies.  Then we begin to realise the universe is way beyond our imagination.

Even at the subatomic particle level of the universe - despite all the best scientific endeavours, scientists can only make theories about the nature of the particles.  The further we go into the behaviour of subatomic matter, the less we realise we actually understand and the more mysterious it becomes.  For anyone who is interested in this have a look at the Large Hadron Collider.  

2. How we know about God
We will be teaching about Jesus being one of the prime ways we can know God.  Jesus is God in human form.  The way Jesus behaved, His compassion, His love for all people, the way He healed, taught and moved about his people all tell us what God is like.  Ultimately the sacrifice Jesus made for us of dying for our sins tells us exactly how God feels about us.  The image of a loving parent is often used to explain God.  The crucifixion is a marvellous example of parent-like sacrifice for the love of a child.

We can also know about God through His creation, as mentioned above.  

Thirdly, inbuilt in us, given to us by God, is intelligence and reason and our intelligence and reason is another way we can come to know God.  When we teach children religious education and have conversations with them about God, we are helping them to use their intelligence and reason to understand more about God.

3.  God is all powerful and remains a mystery.
"If you understand something, its not God," said St Augustine.  That means that God is beyond anything we can imagine.  We can only say "God is like....." 

Jesus also told many parables about what God is like.  These can help us to have an idea of God but still cannot tell us what God is really like.  It is simply impossible for us to imagine the Creator of all things.  These parables are also good examples of how God loves us individually.  These two parables could be good conversation starters with your children to start discussing what you think God is like:

The Prodigal Son:

and The Parable of the Lost Sheep:


4. God loves us individually - He has shown this by making a Covenant with us.  Jesus is the New Covenant - our way to God. This video explains God's covenants in less than five minutes:

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