Saturday, October 2, 2010

Just a reminder: God is not a man.

Every single day in chapel, we are sent off with this blessing:

"In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,"

and we all answer:

"Amen."

Now.  I grew up high-church Episcopalian.  Up until I started going to Teens Encounter Christ and listening to the (slightly nutty) leaders who got worked up about God-language, I had absolutely no problem with Father-language for God.  I didn't really think about it, y'know?  I didn't think my father was God, but Jesus called God Father, and it means He cares for us like a father does, & yadda yadda yadda.

And I am still a high-church Sunday morning gal.  I don't like it when we skip the Kyrie & go straight to the Gloria.  I'd prefer we chant pretty much everything we can.  And it bugs me (just a teeny little bit) at daily chapel when everyone on the altar has the same green and gold three-ring binders to hold their service notes, but the hue of their stoles doesn't match.

So, unto those preparing the daily worship at Luther Seminary chapel, I say with hat in hand:


When the kid who would prefer a little more plainsong-chant and incense in her service is starting to grimace whenever you get to the Benediction, there's a problem.

I have absolutely no problem with Father-language, still, even though I know much more than I did when I was seventeen.  My problem is when I am always and only blessed in the name of the-Father-who-is-male and the-Son-who-is-male and Holy-Spirit-who-is-undefined-but-two-out-of-three-is-a-majority.

I acknowledge that the common runner-up of Creator-Redeemer-Sustainer has its own baggage and limitations.  But this is a seminary, y'all.  If we have a dearth of anything, it is not highly intelligent people training additionally highly intelligent people to talk about God to the world of the 21st century :)  Surely one or two of the same can come up with a couple of alternatives.  Ruler of the Universe.  the Alpha and Omega.  Kurios.  El-Shaddai.  Pantokrator.  Eloheim.  Adonai.  Sophia.  Adonai-Shalom.  Kadosh.  El-berith.  Ruach-HaQodesh.  Lord of all hopefulness.  Shepherd.  The Lover, the Loved, and Love.

And definitely HaShem.  Because all of this is pribble, and the more we can remind ourselves of that, the better.

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