Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Bringing Many Names to Worship

Last Sunday we did a worship service based on Exodus 3:13-15. This is the burning bush story, where God reveals God's name, "I Am Who I Am," to Moeses. This mysterious, expansive name for God is a powerful reminder that we cannot easily understand God in all of God's holiness. God can't be easily classified or put into neat theological boxes. God is always more than we can imagine. So, we used Brian Wren's song "Bring Many Names" to help remind us that God is beyond simplistic naming. There are many names we can use for God. And the only way we can avoid breaking the second Commandment of creating a graven image for God, is to create so many graven images that the diversity of images themselves testify to the multiplicity of God. To help emphesize this theme, I developed a "call to worship" that gives voice to some of the many names for God. Here is our "call to worship":

One: Creator, we gather to praise your ongoing creation.
Many: Potter, we gather to celebrate your handiwork.
One: Wellspring, we gather to drink in your sacred waters.
Many: Holy Spirit, we gather to bask in your abiding presence.
One: Mother Hen, we gather to be protected under your wings.
Many: Lord, we gather to claim you as our ultimate authority.
One: Deliverer, we gather to be led away from our troubles.
Many: Advocate, we gather to lifted up by you.
One: Rock, we gather to be steadied by your firm foundation.
Many: River, we gather to be led along the banks of life.
One: Liberator, we gather to be released from all that oppresses us.
Many: Great Physician, we gather to experience your healing power. Amen!

These images are just a few of the many different images of God we could have used. It would be fun to hear even more. What images of God and names for God are especially meaningful for you?

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