March 14, 2008

Revelation 15.2-4

And I saw what appeared to be a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who had conquered the beast and its image and the number of its name, standing beside the sea of glass with harps of God in their hands.

And they sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:

Great and wonderful are thy deeds,
O Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are your ways,
O King of the ages!

Who shall not fear and glorify they name, O Lord?
For thou alone are holy.
All nations shall come and worship thee,
for thy judgements have been revealed.


At 7:22 a.m., Blogger nathan's shepherd said...

So. how does a post-monarchical culture worship when its worship resources were framed in Empire?

Not to say, we've escaped imperial crap. By no means. But now the God Emperor we bow down an serve is no longer an individual seated on a throne -- but a system. Maybe it was always a system -- but with the figurehead repainted.

The name/title "Lord" is empty and meaningless, but still works at some level for em merely out of frequency of use. I cannot in good conscience kneel down before God and call the Father "President" or Jesus, "Prime Minister". It simply don't work for me.

Mostly in spoken prayer I say "Holy One" these days. My other favourite title is "Teacher" -- but in shared or public prayers, "Holy One" has more traction. I need to explain "Teacher".

And then there's the whole sticky question of what I do with "fear"

At 8:23 a.m., Blogger forrest said...

"Then no one shall say to his neighbor, 'Know the Lord,' for the Earth shall be full of the knowledge of God"?

I don't see us there, yet! But that's where it has to go, for anyone who comes through These Distracted Times more or less intact! We don't have much spare Earth left to play football with! (Whether that's US football or soccer, there seems to be some disagreement re whose rules to kick it around by, but we need to get back to not kicking it at all!)

You know, when I was sitting with a good group of Jews chanting praises to the King of the Universe, that seemed perfectly right to me. As the Rabbi said, "Anyone who enjoys life without blessing God is like a shoplifter." We pay our Friend his praises, not because He needs flattery but because we need to remind ourselves what's what and who's Who.

If I call him anything, it may be nothing more than "Hey, you!" Not "Hey Zeus" or "Jesus," as the Mexicans here say it, although that's who gave me the basic description of the role God plays by: a Father who does all he can for all us unruly kids.

Yeah, we got our cultural metaphors from the State Religion of a nation in exile... There are other metaphors. Friend? Lover?

No fear?

Like a love poem to a bear
written in the bear's room
because there's noplace else

and there's no one else worth being afraid of, or angry at, but there's very much to love! Artist! Director! And Storyteller of Marvelous Invention!

When those old Israelites wanted a King to give "justice", it wasn't necessarily what we call "criminal justice." They, and we, mean a ruler who establishes "Shalom." And for his judgments to be revealed, that is for history to be fulfilled in mercy.

At 10:35 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

The metaphors for God, etc. don't bother me. There are many ways to worship and all worthy of our respect.

re fear? It meant something very different to Bible writers. Do you fear electricity? it can kill you. Do you fear the street that may kill your child? Fear (or respect if you prefer that metaphor) is endemic. Don't fear fear!

The sea of glass is a lovely metaphor. What associations does it carry for you?
"Holy, holy, holy, all the saints adore thee.
Casting down their golden crows around the glassy sea."


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