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Bad Trinity Analogies

I have heard a number of “Trinity” analogies over the years. Some are clever and add a nuance of understanding, but ultimately, every analogy breaks down at some point. Describing the three-in-oneness of God isn’t an easy task, but it is definitely worth the time and energy to study and broaden our understanding of the way God is revealed in the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament.

It is somewhat easier to describe what the Trinity isn’t. and the folks over at Lutheran Satire have created a funny look at debunking the bad analogies of St. Patrick concerning the Trinity…enjoy and glean some insight into theologian humor.

 

All Creatures of Our God And King

Francis of Assisi penned the words of this powerful hymn not long before he died. It would be another 400 years before it was published. I love the David Crowder version of this hymn which I have uploaded below, but take a moment before you listen to Crowder’s version and read through all the verses that Francis wrote. There are more stanzas than we sing in most settings today. His words are rich, flowing from a deep well. Francis sees God everywhere. To him, the world is ablaze with God. May we see His presence as vividly as Francis did.

All Creatures of our God and King

All creatures of our God and King
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam!

Refrain
O praise Him! O praise Him!
Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!

Thou rushing wind that art so strong
Ye clouds that sail in Heaven along,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou rising moon, in praise rejoice,
Ye lights of evening, find a voice!

Thou flowing water, pure and clear,
Make music for thy Lord to hear,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou fire so masterful and bright,
That givest man both warmth and light.

Dear mother earth, who day by day
Unfoldest blessings on our way,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
The flowers and fruits that in thee grow,
Let them His glory also show.

And all ye men of tender heart,
Forgiving others, take your part,
O sing ye! Alleluia!
Ye who long pain and sorrow bear,
Praise God and on Him cast your care!

And thou most kind and gentle Death,
Waiting to hush our latest breath,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Thou leadest home the child of God,
And Christ our Lord the way hath trod.

Let all things their Creator bless,
And worship Him in humbleness,
O praise Him! Alleluia!
Praise, praise the Father, praise the Son,
And praise the Spirit, Three in One!

 

God of Silence and Sound

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God of silence and sound,

Help me dance around the spaces and textures of your voice.

In this moment, Holy One, speak new life into me

the way you spoke in beginning;

Brushstrokes of breath…

Colors of conversation…

Landscapes of language…

Allow the words that wound create in me a silent melody

which sings the song of genesis

of pain and promise

of purpose and presence

God of silence and sound,

Teach me to sing in the darkness of my day.

On this night, Holy One, sing over my tired soul

the way you refreshed Elijah;

as he slept beneath the tree…

as his anxiety obscured his reality…

yet still, you nourished his soul…

May the notes caress away the fear in my heart

which sings a song of captivity

of love lost and misplaced

of loneliness and isolation

God of silence and sound,

I know I am a singer of confused songs.

In this chaotic space, Holy One, teach me the tune of paradox

of beauty and ash, joy and sorrow, frivolity and sincerity.

Teach me to listen…

Help me to see…

Free my voice to sing without sound

The beautiful songs of Your love.

It’s Hard To Describe God

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This morning I was reading through some writings and prayers of Francis of Assisi. I enjoy entering into Francis’ journey of seeing God through creation. A bird, a flowing stream, the sound of crickets at night…

All these things center the mind and heart of Francis on the sovereign God who created all things and gives life to all things.

There really are no words to describe the indescribable God, but Francis paints a beautiful picture with his language.

Slow…

Still…

Listen…

Pray…

_____________________________

You are holy,
O my Lord and only God,
mysterious and holy,
holy and amazing!

You are mighty, magnificent, transcendent.
You are all-powerful,
O most holy Creator,
beneficent ruler of heaven and earth.

You are manifold and One at the same time,
Lord God,
You are utterly wonderful.
You are wonderful, perfectly wonderful,
the very essence of all that is most wonderful,
O Lord God!
You are real and alive.

You are generosity and wisdom,
humility and patience,
safety and serenity,
ecstasy and delight.

You are righteousness and balance,
prosperity that surpasses all basic needs,
you are harmony and beauty.

You are my protector, guardian, and defender.
You are my strength.
You are my sustenance and my courage.

You are faith, hope, and charity.
You are my deepest tenderness.
You are everlasting vitality.

O supreme and marvelous Lord,
Almighty God,
Beloved redeemer,
You are absolute mercy.

~St. Francis of Assisi