Calling God by Name

Dec 03, 2012

       I am aware that I am not sure how to address God in my writing, whether God or Christ or Jesus or the Holy Spirit would be the preferred name, whether He or She is the proper way to address God or what the preferences of my readers in naming God are. You might be able to see how complicated this is to me, to try to guess what might be the best way to name God. For me I think of God, Jesus, Christ and the Holy Spirit as the Lord of my heart and soul. “The Lord” seems to cover all the choices and include them all. But I don’t think of Lord and Lady or God and Goddess when I think of God in terms of gender. In fact when I think of God and gender I feel that Father/Mother, masculine/feminine, he/she aspects are a very small part of who God is. But I would never call God “it.” That pronoun, neutral as it is, just does not work.

       To simplify things for me in my writings, I usually call God God and leave it at that. I mention the Holy Spirit or Spirit fairly often, too, but Jesus or Christ appear less often. Why? I’m not sure. Christ seems to me to be the unitive consciousness of God that pervades all creation. Christ is the kingdom, the place, if you will, where all is made one. The Holy Spirit is the continuous action of God in this world. Jesus, on the other hand, is the one I look to for how to live my life. I love the teachings of the Gospels, the parables, and the Sermon on the Mount.

To me Jesus came to teach us how to live and to enjoy life abundantly in the kingdom(in the mind of Christ).  “Follow me,” he says often, not “believe in me,” but “follow me.” Belief is no shortcut to living what he modeled: 1)love and care for others, particularly the marginalized, the outcast, the stranger of his day, 2)healing and teaching what he knew as much by example and his presence as by words, 3)challenging everyone to keep the spirit of the law rather than to be wedded to every dot and tittle in the law; being wedded to God’s will for him, not the ways of the world; celebrating with others and so on: most of all, being in a totally connected relationship with God.

Love, not perfection; compassion, not rejection; living fully, not rigidly; welcoming the stranger, listening to the “other:” theRoman, the Samaritan, the Centurion, a priest, a tax collector, the blind and the lame, and so on. He looked on everyone with love, even when he didn’t agree with their choices, except for the money changers at the temple and those he called hypocrites—the Pharisees and the Scribes. Those he called out.

       So Jesus is the ideal we are to live into for all of our lives, following God’s lead and teachings, becoming who we were created to be by an unknowable and yet intimate God who would take us all in his(her?) hands if we would but imagine ourselves there.

       The English language being what it is, a limited vehicle for poetry and grace, it all comes down to a few choices for how and what we call The Trinity, that ever-changing energy/vibration of creation and intelligence and love and incarnation that is at the heart of Christianity and of the universe. So I hope you won’t mind if I don’t use your favorite term for God/Christ/Jesus/Holy Spirit when I am writing. Or the right gender designation. Just read in the name that works best for you. They are all totally One, yet inexpressibly an aspect of God in a way, that is, along The Way, in the language of the kingdom.

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