So it’s my tradition, after the prayer of the day, to bring a message to all God’s children and I have a hymnal supplement. In 2006, our denomination came out with a new hymnal to replace the one that came out in the late 1970s. Stuff from this hymnal is what we reprint in our bulletin every Sunday – but that hymnal, the ELW, is 17 years old at this point. So last year, our denomination put out a supplement – named All Creation Sings – with new songs, new resources, and new orders for worship that we can try. Sometimes we use these new songs in our liturgy during communion and I’ll explore using them more in the coming months. Yet one thing I find really neat about these hymnals – and the supplement – is the special resources at the end of the book. For example, there’s a list in the ELW where a lot of our language for worship comes from and in All Creation Sings is a list of all different images for God. When the Bible talks about God – describes God – imagines God – compares God to things in the world – there’s a list of all that God is described as.
So let’s try that. Let’s imagine God. God is…God and our words can’t fully describe who God is. We have to use metaphors or descriptions to say who God is like. So who do you think God is like?
Go through the list. Examples include as a mother, as a man, as feet, as a bear, as a hen, and more. So many images!
You might notice that I tend to say “God” all the time – rather than use pronouns like he or she or they. And that’s because of a list like this. God is described in a lot of different ways that transfers what our words can do. Even the words in the Bible, while sacred, are still our words – so they are a little limited. So I just use God – and imagine that God represents all the things listed in scripture. God invites us to imagine God in all different kinds of ways – and when we want to know who and what God is like – we pay attention to Jesus because he shows us who God is, what love looks like, and how we have the power and responsibility to love like he does too.