Tuesday, June 11, 2013

In the beginning was the Word.


"In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was God."

Well, that's very fine and dandy for God to be just one word. He/She's the only one bright enough to understand what that one word means anyway. We, on the other hand, need lots of words. As many as we can make up and use on a regular basis… to give us a sense of understanding, a sense of communication.

So does that mean a culture with lots of words in its language is smarter or dumber? Depends on who you ask. Take the word love. The Greeks had different words to describe love: eros, agape… but in English we only have one love so we tack on a whole bunch of adjectives to explain what kind: romantic love, brotherly love, unconditional love.

Take infinity for a word. I guess infinity describes God-time, but can infinity convey the awesome length of forever backwards and forwards? Does it even describe the linear concept of backwards and forwards, or is it about some all-in-one-at-a-time concept that only Albert Einstein could understand? 

Can the word orange describe the awesome color of a sunset? I don't think so. Orange must be experienced with the eyes for it to be comprehended. So saying the Word was God and God was the Word is just a whole lot of Bible-Babble. And nobody know what it means, except the Bible-twerps, and even they don't know for sure. Nobody does. Because it's a secret. It's a code. Part of the mystery.

If God were easy to understand, it wouldn't be any fun. For God, or for us. At least that's my story, and I'm sticking with it.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Advent III

O Wisdom… tonight begins the first of the "Great Os" that lead up to Christmas Eve. I had not heard of them before coming to the community, and now, like most of my sisters, I look forward to them.

We are a sorry excuse for a choir now, and for that reason, most of the time we don't sing. But our eldest sister has been humming the opening to "O Wisdom" all week, and even though I knew it would be off key and totally out of whack, I still began the antiphon by singing it instead of saying it. It was awful. But it reminded me of the fairy tale of the monks in a small Russian community who hired a professional singer to sing on one of their sacred occasions. Afterward, the monk was praying and said, "Usually the angels come to hear us on this night, but I didn't sense them this year." The answer was, "Usually you sing. We come to hear you."

Oddly enough YouTube has no video of anyone chanting these haunting melodies. That's too bad. You sure don't want to hear me sing them, even if the angels don't mind.

Sunday, December 09, 2012

Advent II

A pregnant and unwed Mary… off to her cousin's. Greeted with joy, no judgement, no questions asked. Our celebrant today spoke about the amazing capacity that God has to meet us where we are.

We don't have to clean ourselves up, or clean up our house, before God can come in to meet us. We may think we do. But that is not what God asks of us.

How amazing when we cam mirror that same acceptance in each other, the way Elizabeth welcomed Mary.

May this next week of the "Irrational Season" (as Madeleine L'Engle described it) be one for welcoming and accepting and joy.

Saturday, December 01, 2012

Advent I

Easy enough to promise…
"Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me as you have said."

Until the nausea sets in and the pregnancy begins to show.
Now what?

No wonder Mary took off for her cousin's house. After all, the same angel had said Elizabeth was six months along. Misery loves company/safety in numbers/any cliché in a storm.

But what she found at Elizabeth's was affirmation. Validation. We all could use a little of that when we say yes to God. Especially when we have no clue where that yes will lead.
Wishing you a blessed Advent: full of affirmations and validations for your choices in life.