7/20/08

Word for the Week



For this week's Word, I've "cherry-picked" Sunday's first scripture and the responsorial psalm following it. I'm using Todd's term here to describe choosing particular verses from a larger piece of scripture and presenting it as the whole. It's not my intention here to "hide" any aspect of who God is or how God is revealed in the scriptures. But it's my experience over 35 years of ministry, especially in the sacrament of reconciliation, that many Catholic Christians seem never to have heard of the caring, lenient, indulgent, gracious God who is slow to anger and abounding in kindness. And the last place many Christians expect to encounter such a God is in the pages of the Hebrew scriptures!

So, I make no apology for cherry-picking or highlighting here an image of God that many find hard to believe.

You who have the care of all…
you have not unjustly condemned…
your mastery over all things makes you lenient to all…
you judge with clemency;
and with much lenience you govern us…

Wisdom 12:13, 16-19

You are good and forgiving,
abounding in kindness to all who call upon you…
you are great, and you do wondrous deeds…
you alone are God...
you, O LORD, are a God merciful and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in kindness and fidelity...
Turn toward me, and have pity on me...
give your strength to your servant…
Psalm 86:5-6, 9-10, 15-16

What images of God are yours? How do those images shape your relationship with God? Is your image of God someone to be feared? Is your image of God someone who loves you? Can you pray with the images in Wisdom 12 and Psalm 86 above? Are there images of God that distance you from the Lord? What images of God draw you closer to the Lord?


-Concord Pastor

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

For me God has become more loving and merciful. And in a large part that is due to you, CP. Often through the last several years I have noted that you speak of God's love and mercy for each of us and you always include yourself in with us. Your willingness to share your humanity has made me more able to believe that God does forgive me and that he does love me immeasurably despite my faults and failings. So thank you.

Michelle said...

My image of God, that is very important to me, came not too long ago...
I was walking to the train from church one Sunday, feeling sad and empty and unsatisfied-
I imagined, much to my own surprise, very clearly, God, walking next to me holding my hand. I felt His hand in mine- (and I did try very hard to feel this)-
As I walked I prayed, or talked to God (I guess that's the same thing, isn't it?)
I felt more and more comforted and safe... and understood.
I walk a lot and sometimes I try to "re-capture" this image. Sometimes it is very difficult to do-
But I remember that experience and want and need to keep it and use it as a way for me to be closer to God.