As we dive and delve into the mystery that is just beyond our grasp and yet (paradoxically) is as close as our next breath. The holy and wholly other, as Barth said. The ultimate concern and ground of our being, as Tillich said. The One who left fingerprints upon our lives and crafted us from star dust and breathed the holy ruach - Hebrew for wind - into us. God...or as our Jewish brothers and sisters like to write to help maintain the mystery, "G-d". I want to start this with a beautiful hymn written by Brian Wren. I love the evocative and expansive sense Wren invites us into. Listen to the hymn. Then slowly, in a savory pace, read the words below...
Bring many names, beautiful and good,
Celebrate, in parable and story,
Holiness in glory, living, loving God.
Hail and Hosanna! Bring many names!
Strong mother God, working night and day,
Planning all the wonders of creation,
Setting each equation, genius at play:
Hail and Hosanna, strong mother God!
Warm father God, hugging every child,
Feeling all the strains of human living,
Caring and forgiving, till we’re reconciled:
Hail and Hosanna, warm father God!
Old, aching God, grey with endless care,
Calmly piercing evil’s new disguises,
Glad of good surprises, wiser than despair:
Hail and Hosanna, old, aching God!
Young, growing God, eager, on the move,
Saying no to falsehood and unkindness,
Crying out for justice, giving all you have:
Hail and Hosanna, young, growing God!
Great, living God, never fully known,
Joyful darkness far beyond our seeing,
Closer yet than breathing, everlasting home:
Hail and Hosanna, great, living God!
What names do you bring for G-d? How have those names changed? Has G-d changed or you?
Those are good questions to let sit and simmer in our souls as we take up what is at the center of our God-talk, theology. May there be a trace of grace that is both real and beyond words in your life this day.
Grace and peace ~~