"I heard a voice from heaven saying, 'Son, let this woman be a bride to you in the restoration of my people. Let her be a mother for these people, regenerating souls through the salvation of spirit and water.'" (Hildegard of Bingen, Scivias)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Hymn: Divine Mystery

A mighty Mother is our God, with arm outstretched to save us;
She calls us each to join her work and keep the law she gave us.
We’re like her when we serve her poor as they deserve,
Speak truth to evil’s might, watch faithful through the night;
We'll praise her love forever.

A gentle Father is our God, so tender, kind, and caring;
He calls us each “beloved child” and gives us gifts for sharing.
We’re like him when we seek the perfect words to speak,
To free, console, and bless in constant faithfulness;
We'll praise his love forever.

A fiery Spirit is our God, the wind that birthed creation,
She breathes in each the spark of life, and speaks to every nation.
We’re like her when we see the way the world should be,
Work for its change and health, that all might share its wealth;
We'll praise her love forever.

A strong, wise Rabbi is our God, who helps us care for others;
He calls us each to follow him as sisters, friends, and brothers.
We’re like him when we pray throughout each night and day,
Share food with those in need, preach in both word and deed;
We'll praise his love forever.

A rich dark Myst’ry is our God, a shining cloud of glory,
She calls us each to name her grace in our own sacred story.
We’re like her when we see in friend and enemy
A precious human life to guard throughout all strife;
We'll praise her love forever.

Text: Laura M. Grimes, copyright 2012
Tune: Ein Feste Burg 87 87 66 66 7 (A Mighty Fortress Is our God)

Some people fear that feminists, anti-racists, and queer activists seek replacement of male, white, and cis/straight dominance in dominance in society with that of the presently oppressed groups rather than raising them to equal status with present oppressors. In a similar way some people of faith fear that Christian feminist theologians and liturgists seek replacement of hegemonic male God-language with purely neutral and/or female God-language rather than a healthy balance that reflects the purely spiritual nature of God, the full creation of both men and women in His/Her image, and the wealth of diverse names for our loving Creator in Scripture and Tradition alike!

Using this tune and recalling its original words, Luther's take on Psalm 46, adds extra resonance to this freeing triumph for several reasons. They focus on Jesus' defeat of Satan through reform in the Christian community--and protection of those who seek it via the persecution that often results. They recall my perpetrator--like Luther, a gifted but misogynist pastor and professor--who lived down to his mortally sinful state by introducing me to them via a pirated copy of his Reformation Cantata. And they recall my home chapel and spiritual direction office in the Ohio house (pictured above with a younger Katie), a lavender painted sunroom where my family, my clients, and I took joy and strength in stencil of one of the psalm's key verses, "Be Still and Know that I am God." This sacred space in my sacred home validates another which delightfully affirms God's amazing work in me: "God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved. God will help her at the break of day."

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