Photo-bombing God

Photo-bombing God December 9, 2019

3-2-1… cheese!

And just at that moment a photo-bomber ruins a perfectly good photo opportunity. These pranksters insert themselves into the picture by sliding into the frame. The photographer gets home only to see unfamiliar faces in their photos.

Admittedly, I have been a photo-bomber myself, as I can’t resist the urge to be inappropriate at the appropriate time. It’s the clown in me.

While in this age of digital photos it’s usually a harmless prank, I wonder if I’m photo bombing the Almighty – who He is, what He says, and what He wants me to hear.

I sat in church the other day, listening to a sermon about Elijah, moping under the broom tree because Jezebel had him on the run.  And I thought “yes, that’s me. Always whining about my situation.” Some women from the past also crept into the narrative. but the real story is how God spoke to Elijah, how he overcame the pursuers, and how he confounded and dazzled the magicians.

The story was about an amazing God and not a pouting prophet.

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Admit it, modern-day lessons, whether they are delivered in devotional form, Bible studies, or sermons, are increasingly geared to relevancy. They take a passage from Scripture and find modern-day applications, and then drill it down to the personal level.

But what if it isn’t about you? What if God wants to tell us something about him?

I’m guilty. I read passages and I want to know how it relates to my life, to my family, to my circumstance. I read about Lazarus and I admit that some parts of me need to be brought back from the dead. But what if the passage is more about the power of Jesus than the need of Lazarus?

The Bible is about God. It’s not about me.

National Library of Ireland on The Commons

So many times I’ve listened to sermons or teachings, read articles or books, and squeezed myself into the narrative.

Rather than sit through a lesson and find some sort of application for my mixed up life, maybe I would be better off finding out about God, his nature, and his expectations.

Nancy, at Conversations in Faith, read Leviticus and she caught herself trying to get a little too personal instead of just letting the text speak. “(We) tend to make ourselves the center of the discussion. What does Leviticus have to do with me? How does this apply to my life? ” she said. “But really the story isn’t about us–it is about God. We’re part of the story but we are not the entire story or even most of the story.”

I need to quit photo-bombing God, and just get out of the way.


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