God the Father (A)
Wrong ideas about God
Let’s start by considering two ideas about God that are quite widespread but wrong.
God is harsh
Some people have the idea that God is interested in human beings and pays a lot of attention to what they do but is very harsh, even cruel. These people think that all unpleasant things which they can’t understand, such as storms, accidents or illnesses, are sent by God because he is angry or spiteful.
God is uninterested
Some people believe that God is not interested in us at all and is much too far away to bother about what happens in this world. They think that God takes as much interest in us as the cuckoo does in its young. As you probably know, the cuckoo lives for the greater part of the year in North Africa but comes to England every April to spend the summer here. She does not build a nest but lays her eggs in the nests of other birds, and leaves it to them to hatch the eggs and bring up the young cuckoos. Then in August she flies back to Africa.
So, just as the cuckoo doesn’t look after its young, some people think that God made the world and then left it and us to get on with it without him as best we can.
But these people are quite wrong. If anything, God cares for us like the wild birds care for and protect the little ones in their nests. So the Psalmist writes:
“He shall defend you under his wings,
and you shall be safe under his feathers” (NRSV, Psalm 91:4).