Rev. Carol Steinbrecher is the Area Conference Minister for the North Central Region.  For fun, she writes, quilts, plays Scrabble, and, of course, ends each day with Wordle! 


Scripture: Exodus 33:11 (NRSV)

Thus the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend. Then he would return to the camp; but his young assistant, Joshua son of Nun, would not leave the tent.


Reflection:  What Does God Look Like?



When my son was three, he asked me, "What does God look like?" 
I said, "God is like the wind.  We can't see the wind, but we can see the wind going by when the trees sway or when the autumn leaves go skipping across the lawn.  We can feel the wind when it blows across our skin.  God is like the wind.  We can't see God, but we can know that God is there."  My son was quiet for a moment and then he said, "But what does God LOOK like?" 
Stumped, I googled “Christian images of God.”  I was inundated with endless variations on that all too familiar depiction of God as an elderly white man, with flowing white hair and beard.  Many of the images were of Jesus.  Jesus is God’s face for many of us, and yet, our depictions of Jesus and of God, are often influenced by our own bias and limited frames of reference.  Scripture teaches us that God created humankind in God’s own image, male and female God created humankind in God’s own likeness.  So, what might an all-inclusive image of God look like?
Do you remember Arthur Ashe?  In the 60’s and 70’s, Arthur Ashe was one of the best tennis players in the world, winning three Grand Slams and other world titles. In his autobiography, “Days of Grace,” he told a story about when he was a young school boy.  Arthur was one of three or four African-American children going to a school where the overwhelming majority of the children were white. 
The other children were cruel to him because of the color of skin.  One day he came home from school and asked his mom, "What color is God?"  And his mom said, "God is the color of water." Think about that for a moment.  God as the color of water. 
What color is water?  Hopefully, when it comes out of our faucet, water is clear.  It doesn’t have any color of its own.  Whatever is around it is the color that water becomes.  In nature, water reflects back colors of the blue sky; the gold, red, and orange of Autumn trees; the greens of plants; the pink, blue, and purple of flowers; and every shade and hue of human face.
Think about it for another moment.  God as the color of water.  When we look into a body of still water, each of us can see ourselves reflected on the surface.  If we look harder, we can see beneath the water’s surface into the depths within.
Jesus says, “We are in God and God is in us,” inviting us to look into our own inner depths to discover that connection to God in us, and God in all that surrounds us.  So how do I answer my son’s question, “What does God look like?”
Now that he is older, I can tell him that each one of us looks like God.  That the diversity of shapes, forms, functions, and colors of all God’s creatures are beautiful illuminations of God’s artistic and exuberant heart. 
Ultimately, it is not in our physical natures that we resemble God, but in our spiritual nature.  In Jesus last prayer he says, “I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them.”
So, maybe the better question is, “What does love look like? 
When we love and value our neighbor, not as we love our "self", but love our neighbor who is our self, then we begin to see God's face more clearly.  To imagine what God looks like, we don’t have to look any further than the faces of all those we encounter on life’s road. 
When we can all see the world with loving hearts, and speak face to face as beloved friends, we will see that each and every one of us, together with all creation, are God’s face and God’s love.  All of us.  Together.


Creator God, open our hearts that we might truly resemble you in spirit, reflecting your love and light into the lives of all around us.

New Prayer Requests:

We ask churches and church leaders to join us in the following prayers either by sharing them during worship, printing them in bulletins, or sharing them in some other way. To make a prayer request, please contact Marlene Gasdia-Cochrane at

Prayers of Intercession:

  • For the people of Ukraine whose lives continue to be shattered by war, as well as the many landscapes that are currently embroiled in conflicts.
  • For those grieving or suffering due to the ~30,600 gun violence deaths that happened in the US since the start of the year.
  • For those suffering from the recent wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes.

Prayers of Joy and Thanksgiving: 

  • For available ways to reduce pollution and live out our first calling as Christians: to care for God’s creation (like going solar).
  • For Faith Formation staff.
  • For seeing God’s face and love in all of us.

This Week in History:

September 22, 1862 (161 years ago):  President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million enslaved in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.  [History

“Study the past if you would define the future.”

Starting With Scripture is a weekly devotional and prayer request of the
Southern New England Conference, UCC.
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Marlen Gasdia-Cochrane, Editor