God's Calling ~ Knowing God's Name
Yesterday, we heard and held how Moses, at the burning bush amid his ordinary life, received the Divine name, “I AM WHO I AM”. This week, I want to explore other names for God. Specifically, I want us to open our imaginations to the words/images/names for God in the New Zealand version of the Lord’s Prayer. The first few words to describe and define God in this prayer are:
Eternal Spirit, Earth-maker.
What is evoked for you when you hear that?
Perhaps you hear God as the Creator, Crafter of all that is and will be. God is the One who shapes the smallest quark to the tallest mountain. God is the One found in the soil of our backyards and the star dust over our heads. Mystics have said that creation is God’s first testament. Creation was how God first communicated and communed with us. Remember, in the second creation narrative of Genesis 2, God forms a human being out of dirt/dust and then sets out to find a companion or helper or partner for the human. God is the earth-maker.
Perhaps the words Eternal Spirit sing to your soul in another way. God is the beginning, middle, and end. There is no time when God has not been or no place where God is not already present. You could say God is Eternal, Everlasting, and expansively embracing the evolving universe. God is a Spirt that can stretch beyond – just as Moses went beyond the wilderness of what was known. God is a Spirit that will continue unfolding into the unknowness of tomorrow.
I love the inter-play of these two. Eternal Spirit is beyond my comprehension and control. Eternal Spirit is what Karl Barth called, “Holy Other”. God is God and I am not. On the other hand, Earth-maker brings God as close as my feet touching the soil. Earth-maker brings God as close as my next breath. As Paul Tillich called the divine, “Ground of our being.” We need both. The wisdom of these two images of God is that they are Scriptural. In Genesis 1, God is the Eternal Spirit hovering over the waters and singing Creation into being. In Genesis 2, God sinks God’s fingers into the mud/dirt/earth forming not just humans but everything as Earth-maker.
Honoring both parts of God – Eternal Spirit who is Holy Other who calls out to us awaking our souls AND the Earth-maker who meets us here in our everyday lives. May these two descriptions of God be experienced in YOUR life today in real ways. Feel free to share in the comments your encounters of God in these two names.
Prayer: God of many names, God who moves in endless new ways, center us and open us this day to experience You in meaningful and life-giving moments. Amen.