Doctrine: Jesus, the Image of God
When pastor Clark Cothern was a child, his mother was the dean of women at Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, Arizona. What he saw of college presidents, he saw from floor level, while he played beside his mother’s desk in the administration building. “I would watch as students walked down the hall toward the president’s office and stop. They would rub their sweaty palms on their pants or skirts, take a deep breath, straighten their shoulders, and knock. The door would creak open. That’s when I would catch a glimpse of the president’s shiny, black wingtip shoes. The student would then disappear inside the mysterious chamber known as ‘The President’s Office.’ It was terrifying.”
One day Clark was playing with his toy car in the hall outside the president’s office when the door opened. Then he saw them — those shiny, black wingtip shoes. Unexpectedly, President Robert Sutherland, dressed in his pinstriped, three-piece suit, knelt down and asked, “May I have a turn?” They played cars together, and President Sutherland asked young Clark to call him “Dr. Bob.” The result? “That’s the day my opinion about the college president changed.”1 In a similar way, God came to us in Christ to share his life with us and to reveal that he is not a distant and terrifying being but a loving Father full of grace and truth.