Epiphany 1995: Images of God
A Christian Community
In the Tradition of Church of the Saviour
Images of God
No image [of God] is adequate. To select one image and bow down to it is idolatrous. If we draw on a variety of God images, and let them balance, enrich, and clash with one another, we shall be following the instincts of biblical faith and the methods of many biblical voices. Allowing God images to clash is important, because it reminds us that we are approaching that which is beyond all images.
Brian Wren, quoted in Virginia Mollenkott, Sensuous Spirituality, pg 95.
Every person needs to learn to trust his or her own images. It is precisely out of this trust that the artist in us is born. Without this trust all newness, all adventures, all hope, all divinity is aborted or stillborn.
Matthew Fox, Original Blessing, pg 203
CALL TO WORSHIP (Unison)
I call upon You, O God whose name is unspeakable.
Though You are beyond what mere words can say,
my words flow out to You.
Though You are more than mere knowledge can comprehend,
my mind reaches for You, and cries out in a loud voice:
"I know who You are: the Holy One of God!
"You are the Christ!"
WORD FOR THE CHILDREN
CHILDREN LEAVE FOR CLASSES
Leader:O God of mystery,
we long to know you in your many forms and faces.
Voice 1:Images are not always easy to trust.
They bear within themselves
the power to disturb the peace,
to rock the status quo.
Voice 2:We want to make new images of peace and justice,
but we are frightened by the very images we create.
Voice 1:Our images of You suggest that chaos,
the chaos that precedes the birthing of a new idea,
is holier than what we see and hear around us.
Voice 2:Poetic imagination is the last way left
to challenge the harsh reality
that dominates our lives.
Unison:Lack of clarity is no excuse for not creating,
just as fear is no excuse for lack of courage
despair is no excuse for lack of hope.
Leader:All-knowing One, forgive us our limitations,
our small vision of You.
Voice 1:We listen to endless chatter, lamentations, formulas,
without hearing the wisdom in Your silence.
Voice 2:We witness brutality,
callousness and thoughtless actions,
without being caught in the web of Your compassion.
Voice 1:We curse our pain,
confusion and bitterness,
without tasting the nectar of Your forgiveness
Voice 2:We move in tired circles,
thoughtless rhythms, broken patterns,
without remembering the freedom of your dance.
Unison:All-knowing One, forgive us our limitations,
our small vision of You.
INDIVIDUAL PRAYERS OF CONFESSION
In the gift of Jesus Christ,
God has given us wisdom beyond knowing,
compassion without measure,
forgiveness far beyond our limitations,
freedom to look, and live and love anew.
PRAYER OF DEDICATION
Go in the assurance that what is known is not as important
as who is known.
Go in the knowledge that you are known by God,
and that you may know God.
go in the confidence that whoever is known will be loved.
Call to Worship: Phyllis Cole and Everet Tilson, Litanies and Other Prayers.
Benediction: Phyllis Cole and Everet Tilson, Litanies and Other Prayers.