Today’s questions comes straight from the mouth of babes, which is to say that my seven-year-old asked me this very question the other day (minutes, it seemed, after the same question came in from a reader): “Who made God?”
My son understands that just as he came from Mama and Daddy, he also came from God. Although he’s prone to roll his eyes when I remind him that he is God’s beloved, it’s also not hard for him to grasp that he is a child of God. He is loved by God, no questions asked.
But the other night, in between lying on the floor and reading chapters from our current nighttime novel, Three Keys, he interrupted me with the aforementioned question.
I smiled. While it’s not a question I’m asked to answer on a regular basis, the following immediately came to mind:
The Nicene Creed: If you’re part of a Christian tradition that regularly says The Nicene Creed, you might remember the second sentence of the statement, which states truths about Jesus.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
We get a hint of where God came from (and who, ultimately, made God) when we state, “God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God.” God came from God’s self, for God who is Light and true God, has always been.
Which brings me to the next point: Church Camp. During college, I worked summers at a Christian camp in the Santa Cruz mountains – and nary a day went by when songs didn’t mark our every move: we sang songs in the morning at staff devotionals, and we sang songs at Bible time with the campers. Peppy, poppy Christian music blared from the speakers, and songs, born of tradition, of truth, and of enthusiasm, marked the evening campfire program.
These songs became engrained in our souls.
But there was one song that didn’t quite make the mark, as I recently wrote about for Forward Day by Day:
One year, a director decided to buck tradition. Instead of letting the camp staff run with old song favorites, she hired a former Disney songwriter and choreographer to teach us a new song called, “The Alpha and Omega.” She thought it would take us to the next level of performance and expertise; we thought it would be the beginning of our ruin, the destruction of everything good.
We camp staff bucked enough tables to not have to sing that song during open ceremonies, but I don’t doubt that same camp director may have won the war because, twenty-five years later, I can still sing every word of that blasted song by heart.
And when it comes to answering a question like “Who made God?” it helps to know that God has always been.
Revelation 1:8 (of which the song is based) says, “‘I am the Alpha and the Omega,’ says the Lord God, ‘who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.'”
While I don’t put perimeters around the Big Bang theory (and certainly believe that God is big enough to have been a part of this very theory), there is also a mystery in embracing the perfect tense of God – perfect tense embodying the past, present, and future, in one fell swoop.
Here we then find our third response, which draws from the previous notion: God’s beginning is clearly spelled out in nature. Psalm 33:6-7 is helpful here:
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made
and all their host by the breath of God’s mouth.
God gathered the waters of the sea as in a bottle;
God put the deeps in storehouses.
Just as our senses come alive in nature, and we are able to touch and taste, see and feel and hear the goodness of creation, all of this beauty points back to God.
After all, God is beginning.
We see this in seed, and we see this in the miracle of seed to soil to beautiful, bountiful vegetation. I can’t get enough of this when I step into my backyard garden, when I pick a handful of vegetables for my family’s dinner, all of which grew from the tiniest of seeds.
My God, I mutter, often unaware. Who are you?
And here our questions starts all over again, fueled by the awestruck and wonder of everyday life.
Is it the same for you?